King Tutankhamen (-1343 to -1323), or King Tut for short, was the pharaoh or king of Egypt from -1333 to -1323, from age 9 to 19. Being only a boy he had little power and was soon forgotten. But then in 1922 he became the most famous pharaoh ever when Howard Carter discovered his body and his treasures. They had lain under the sands of Egypt for over 3,000 years.
Ancient Egypt laid their kings to rest in pyramids. The pyramids have stood for thousands of years, but all of them are empty, having been robbed of everything long ago. That is why the King Tut find was so amazing. It would be like finding a London flat from 1922 in near perfect condition in 5166.
King Tut is so ancient he lived a hundred years before Moses and the fall of Troy.
Howard Carter was one of the few who believed there was still a king and his treasure to be found. But after 15 years even he was about to give up. All he found of Tutankhamen was a cup and some gold leaf. But then one of his workers found steps leading down into the sand. It led to a door…
King Tut’s treasures, but not his body, are part of a travelling show that goes round the world.
His body had a broken leg and a blow to the head. The blow to the head came after death, but his leg he broke just days before he died.
He stood 1.70 metres tall, had a long head and an overbite. When he died his hair was in dreadlocks.
He loved the game of senet: we have four of his boards. Two little girls were also found with him. Maybe his daughters. We know he had no sons.
Tutankhamen married the daughter of king Akhenaten and the beautiful queen Nefertiti.
Akhenaten was king before Tutankhamen. He did away with all but one god, Aten, a sun god. He closed the temples of the other gods, making enemies of their priests and believers. He also moved the capital from Thebes to Amarna and tried to get the Egyptians to draw in a natural style – not in that ancient side-of-the-head thing.
None of it lasted. When Akhenaten died and Tutankhamen became king, all the old ways were brought back: the old gods and their priests and temples, the old capital and even the old way of drawing.
Tutankhamen was only nine when he became king. Most of the power was in the hands of Ay, his top minister, and Horemheb, his top general. Both were to become pharaohs after he died.
In the last year of his short life, Tutankhamen fought in Syria with the Mitanni against the Hittites.
In a later age Tutankhamen and some others were stricken from the lists of kings. So people forgot about him – even the grave robbers forgot. Which is why his grave has lasted down to our time.
– Abagond, 2007.