A unique foldable bed belonging to King Tutankhamun - who ruled Egypt over 3,300 years ago - may have inspired modern camping beds, according to the first study of the furniture which highlights the craftsmanship skills of the ancient artisans.
British archaeologist Howard Carter had discovered the three-fold bed made of lightweight hardwood when he entered Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922.
The bed was smaller and sat lower to the ground than the other five beds found in the burial chamber.
However, it was remarkably comfortable and was elegantly designed with a sophisticated technology, researchers found.
An ingenious mechanism allows the bed to be folded up into a Z shape, the study showed.
"No detailed study has been made of this bed since Carter sketched it almost a hundred years ago," said Naoko Nishimoto, from the Musashino University in Tokyo.
"This is the only real-size camping bed that has ever been found. No other pharaohs but King Tut had such a bed. It is intriguing," she added.
Researchers suggest that two-fold beds may have existed or at least were being designed, before Tutankhamun's camping bed was constructed.
However, the boy king's three-fold bed was revolutionary, researchers said. It was steadier, more comfortable and much more compact to carry than the two-folds, the 'Live Science' reported.
"Traces of trials and errors tell us that the artisans involved in the bed production did not have any other three- fold beds for reference," Nishimoto said.
The bed features four wooden "lion" legs with paws that rest upon copper-alloy drums and would have supported the weight of a person.
However, given the elaborate shape of the legs, folding up the bed was tricky. To solve the problem, artisans devised ingenious hinges and placed them over the four auxiliary legs.
The bed not only reveals the high level of craftsmanship of the ancient Egyptian artisans, but it also provides an insight into the aspirations of the young Tutankhamun, Nishimoto said.
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