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Bronze Saluki sculpture.
Bronze Saluki sculpture.

Pyramid of King Tut the Dog

Field review by the editors.

Carbondale, Illinois

Died 1954

Pyramid grave of King Tut.
Pyramid grave of King Tut.

Pet Cemetery.

For many years the sport teams of Southern Illinois University were named the Maroons. In 1951 the student body abandoned that awkward name in favor of the Salukis, an ancient breed of Egyptian hunting dog (Southern Illinois is known, geographically, as "Little Egypt").

Saluki Mascot: King Tut

Two years later the school got itself a real Saluki as a mascot. He was named King Tut, and he became the star of SIU's Homecoming and sports contests. And then he was run over by a car.

King Tut was buried in 1954 at the corner of the university football stadium. The fraternity that had cared for him during his brief college career marked his grave, seven years later, with a cement pyramid.

In 2010 the old stadium complex was knocked down. In its place rose a new, multi-million-dollar SIU Arena and Saluki Stadium. A bronze, life-size Saluki stands on the concourse, and two giant cement Salukis flank the entrance to the arena. But even though King Tut had been dead for over 50 years, he was not forgotten; his pyramid was reverently power-washed and moved to a place of honor at the entrance to the new stadium, where the SIU faithful can now touch it for luck.

Also see: Mascots | Roadside Pet Cemetery

Pyramid of King Tut the Dog

Saluki Stadium

Arena Drive, Carbondale, IL
On the campus of Southern Illinois University. On the north side of Saluki Drive just west of S. Illinois Ave./US Hwy 51, in front of the entrance to Saluki Stadium.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

The Bucky DomeThe Bucky Dome, Carbondale, IL - 1 mi.
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In the region:
Downtown Musical Bell Tower, Centralia, IL - 57 mi.

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