Top 10 Remarkable Facts about Tutankhamen
King Tutankhamun, fondly referred to as Tut, was an Egyptian pharaoh. He was born around 1341 BC in Akhenaten, the capital of ancient Egypt. His first name, Tutankhaten, means the living image of Aten; while his second name Tutankhamun means the living image of Amun.
King Tut was the son of Akhenaten. The pharaohs married in the family and so his parents were blood sister and brother. His father died when he was 9 years old, and so Tut was crowned as a pharaoh at that age.
As the new pharaoh, he married his half-sister and changed his name to Tutankhamun III. He is one of the famous pharaohs because of the character, the changes he brought as well as his death.
King Tut’s tomb was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter in the Valley of the Kings. His tomb was nearly intact, there were attempts to plunder it but there was no success.
He died aged 19 in 1323 BC after a bad accident that many archaeologists speculate was an assassination.
Here are the top 10 remarkable facts about King Tutankhamen.
1. He became a Pharaoh aged 9
Tutankhamun’s father died when he was only seven years old. He was named the new pharaoh two years later and married his half-sister.
AS a new king and still a boy, he needed advisers since he could not make independent judgements. Most of his decisions were made by his advisers.
His chief adviser was official Ay, who had long maintained ties with the royal family, and Horemheb, the general of the armies.
He ruled for 10 years and died after getting in an accident.
2. He was called King Tut
His birth name was Tutankhaten, but after taking power, he changed his name to Tutankhamun. His new name means the living image of Amun.
Amun was an ancient Egyptian god of the sun and air. this god was considered one of the most important gods at the beginning of the New Kingdom.
3. the exact cause of death is not known
It is speculated that King Tut might have died after a bad accident while riding his horse in the desert. Others speculate that he was assassinated since his bones were seriously broken.
The damage to his body might have happened during the accident or during his mummification. During the mummification process that was done within the tomb, a fire might have occurred since they used chemicals that ignited the fire.
The damage on his chest and legs indicates an accident perhaps when he was on the battlefield, hunting or riding his chariot.
He had shattered ribs, some of his internal organs were missing and his pelvis was broken. The exact cause of death is still unknown.
4. King Tut died at aged 19
The king died unexpectedly on his 19th birthday. Traces of malaria parasites were found in his mummified body in 2010 by scientists. They believed that he may also have had a degenerative bone disease that worsened his condition.
Unfortunately, King Tut did not have an heir and his chief advisor, Ay, succeeded him. Since his death was unexpected, there was no ready tomb for him.
His funeral and burial were rushed. A small tomb in the Valley of Kings was converted for him but it did not fit properly.
King Tut’s heart was missing in his body. According to ancient Egyptians, the heart is important even in the afterlife since it was used for reasoning. One theory about this was that his heart was severely damaged and could not be preserved.
5. King Tut was a father to twins
Tut and his wife had twin daughters. The remains of the twins were discovered in his tomb next to him. It is believed that the twins were stillborn and had a skeletal deformity.
Unfortunately, his death marked the end of his bloodline. He was succeeded by two of his advisers, Ay, who ruled for four years followed by Horemheb.
6. His tomb was plundered
It was common for pharaohs to be buried with gold and other precious metals. This was because ancient Egyptians believed that they would need them in the afterlife.
King Tut’s grave has a clear indication of forced entry but nothing seemed to have been stolen. His tomb remained forgotten by the pharaohs that reigned after him.
Stone shelters were built at the entrance of his tomb. The new structure was the tomb of site Ramses VI.
A close look at his tomb indicated that it was ransacked after his burial but most of the inner rooms remained intact. Only oils and perfumes were stolen and the tomb was renovated.
7. Artefacts from his tomb were exhibited in a world tour
After the discovery of his tomb, the artefacts found in his tomb were exhibited to the public. Between 1972 and 1979, an exhibition named Treasures of Tutankhamun was held in the United States.
This exhibition was held in seven cities in the US and more than 8 million people attended. There were more than 50 artefacts displayed.
Some of the artefacts include his burial mask which was made out of pure gold. This is permanently displayed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt.
To view his mummified body, head over to his tomb in the Valley of Kings. His coffin is in a climate-controlled glass box.
The exhibition was also done in Melbourne Museum, Australia.
8. He reformed policies passed by his predecessors
King Tut’s 10-year reign was interesting. When he has crowned pharaoh, Egypt was in political chaos from poor leadership by his father. His father had changed the religion in Egypt from a polytheistic religion to a monotheistic one.
During his reign, King Tut brought back most of the religious order that his father had tried to change. He also brought back the Egyptian gods.
King Tut restored some of the diplomatic relationships with other kingdoms that his father, Akhenaten had neglected during his reign. One such kingdom was the Mitanni kingdom.
During his reign, he fought with the Nubians and Asians. Records of these battles were recorded in his tomb.
9. King Tut changed religion during his reign
With the help of his advisers, King Tut was able to not only restore traditional Egyptian religion, but also art. His father had done away with such through the Amarna revolution.
He made these changes during his third year. He put an end to the worship of the god Aten and restored the god Amun to supremacy. King Tut also restored the Amun cult and the privileges of its priesthood.
The capital was moved back to Thebes and the city of Akhetaten was abandoned. At the new capital, King Tut commissioned projects where he built the sphinx avenue at the temple of Mut.
These sphinxes were a gift to his father and mother, Akhenaten and Nefertiti. He finished decorating the entrance colonnade of Amenhotep III at Luxor temple.
10. He was one of the few venerated kings of Egypt
Kings were venerated after their deaths through mortuary cults and associated temples. Tutankhamun was one of the few kings worshipped in this manner during his lifetime.
A monument containing information in the form of texts, images about King Tut was found in his tomb. It indicated that he be appealed to in his consecrated state for forgiveness. This is said freed him from any ailment caused by sin.