Behind the golden chariot reproduction, minus the wood and glass case that protects the original in Cairo, you feel as if you could take the reins and drive. You can examine close up the intricate details of the king's cartouches and captured enemies embossed inside the gold chariot body. The Egyptians covered the D-shaped body with plaster, then carved and gilded the images. On the exterior body turquoise rosettes and other colored inlay patterns embellish an overall golden swirl pattern. Mind boggling.
As a benefit of modern reconstruction we can examine the springy floor woven of leather, long ago perished in the 3300+ year old chariot. An animal skin would have carpeted the floor in ancient days. The rims and spokes of the three foot high wheels seem more like the heavier wheels of one of the war chariots found in the tomb, however, rather than the fine bentwood wheels of the chariot Carter dubbed the state chariot. The spokes are completely covered with gold on the Cairo chariot so you can't see the construction. The chariot body seems a bit over tall, perhaps due to the highly propped exhibition position of the pole.
A backwards curved Asiatic and a Nubian figure decorate the yoke terminals. At the back where the uprights meet the axle, golden Bes heads with characteristic tongue hanging out face the king as he would mount. Another standing alabaster figurine of the god Bes is also on exhibit.
Egyptian chariots are characteried by widely spaced wheels on an axel set at the back of the cab, making them light and maneuverable for the two horses to pull. A saddle sat on the horses' withers, made in an inverted padded U shape with a tail like a Y which attached to the yoke ends. The standing king beside his driver must have looked magnificent rising above the desert sun reflecting gold, parading drawn by strutting, elaborately harnessed horses. The pharaoh's horse teams further enhanced the regalia, wearing plumes on their bridles, tasseled blankets on their backs, and a golden Horus hawk with a sun disk above each saddle. No wonder those Arabian prototype horses strutted proudly with high arched necks and tails.
The Complete Tutankhamun: The King, the Tomb, the Royal Treasure (King Tut), C. N. Reeves, 1995 Thames & Hudson, NY
Treasures of Tutankhamun, Joan K. Holt & Katherine Stoddert Gilbert, (eds), I.E.S. Edwards, 1976 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Tutankhamun, T.G.H. James, 2001 White Star, Metro Books
Tutankhamen: Life and Death of the Boy-King, Christiane Desroches Noblecourt, ©1963, New York Graphic Society 1967