The Wool-Clad King

Minnesota’s overlooked mummy—unwrapped

Around the same time Howard Carter stumbled across King Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt in November 1922, taconite miners blasting away in the Mesabi Iron Range also discovered something: the tomb of Tut’s long-lost second cousin—twice removed—King Tatertut. It’s common knowledge that Tatertut (officially known as King Tatertuthotdish) was famous for his one-of-a-kind, hand-knit sweaters and award-winning lefse recipe, but the cause of his death remains a mystery. Luckily, King Tatertut, like King Tut, was buried alongside some of his most prized possessions, providing a few hints as to what he was like during his reign. See Tut’s treasures firsthand at the Minnesota Science Museum exhibit, “Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs,” then compare the two tombs’ artifacts here.

King Tutankhamun
Egypt, 1341 B.C.–1323 B.C.

Tut’s seat: An intricately carved wooden chair that bears Tut’s birth name, Tutankhaten, as well as his king name, Tutankhamun.

Tut’s fun: Boards for a game called “senet,” made of ivory, ebony, silver, and gold, to keep the king entertained in
the afterlife.

Tut’s duds: Sandals made of pure gold, fitted for Tut’s feet and found perfectly intact.

Tut’s ride: Multiple handcrafted boat models, guaranteeing an afterlife full of smooth rides.

Tut’s embellishments: Amulets and jewelry believed to protect against evil, injury, disease, or bad luck.

Tut himself: Four ornately decorated jars containing Tut’s lungs, liver, stomach, and intestines.

King Tatertuthotdish
Minnesota, circa 1329B.C.–1310 B.C.

Tatertut’s seat: A deluxe, ergonomically correct Adirondack king chair, natural in color.

Tatertut’s fun: Hand-carved cross-country skis rosemalled with loons and lady slippers.

Tatertut’s duds: A high-quality wool sweater with toggle buttons and a timeless Norwegian snowflake pattern.

Tatertut’s ride: A birch-bark canoe
with expired boat tags.

Tatertut’s bling: A full-face ski mask knit to conform to the king’s face.

Tatertut’s embellishments: Crocheted mittens, proven to protect against bitter Minnesota winters.

Tatertut himself: Tatertut was found immaculately preserved. Who needs to be cryogenically frozen when you have Minnesota winters?