Ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamun Biography

Who was Tutankhamun?

Tutankhamun was a pharaoh of the XVIII dynasty of Ancient Egypt, who ruled around 1333 – 1323 BC. e. The son of Pharaoh Akhenaten and his unidentified sister (the mummy KV35YL) ascended the throne at the age of 9. In the early years, the elderly courtier Eye, brother-in-law Amenhotep III, and the commander Horemheb ruled for him.

King Tutankhamun’s wife

The wife of Tutankhamun was the third daughter of Akhenaten and the beautiful Nefertiti, Queen Ankhesenpaaton (later Ankhesenamon), from whom he had two stillborn babies found in his tomb.

King Tutankhamun’s change of name and the Amun – Karnak god

From the text of a large stele erected on his behalf in the main temple of Amun – Karnak, it is known that he returned to the cult of the former gods and returned to the priests of Amon all their rights and property. The first three years after accession to the throne and, apparently, under the influence of Queen Nefertiti, Tutankhamun still continued to stay with the court in Ahetaton. And only after the death of Empress Nefertiti, the supporters of the previous religion finally prevailed. Around the 4th year of his reign, Tutankhaton changed his name and henceforth became Tutankhamun, and Queen Ankhesenpaaton accordingly changed her name to Ankhesenamon.

Leaving Ahetaton, the court of Tutankhamun did not return to Thebes but settled in Memphis. Restoring the cult of Amun and all the old gods, Tutankhamun, the cult of Aton did not persecute. Images of the Sun and Akhenaten remained intact, and in his inscriptions, Tutankhamun sometimes calls himself “the son of Aton.”

It is possible that the pacification inside the country, achieved under the young king by his closest associates, headed by Eye, contributed to some consolidation of the external position of Egypt. During the reign of Tutankhamun, the great commander Horemheb, the future pharaoh, won in Syria, and therefore in Karnak, they depicted the arrival of a royal ship with a Syrian in a cage.

Achievements of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun

Under Tutankhamun, intensive construction was carried out, the shrines of the former gods, which were launched and destroyed under Akhenaten, were restored. But later, Eye and, especially, Horemheb mercilessly erased the cartouches of Tutankhamun and usurped everything that had been erected under him.

Tutankhamun is famous for the fact that his tomb in the “Valley of the Kings” near Thebes, accidentally turned out to be almost untouched by ancient robbers and survived to this day. Among it, the funeral supplies and utensils, and many remarkable works of art of that era were discovered. Thanks to this, the name of the owner of these treasures, an unremarkable young Egyptian king, immediately became widely known.

Thousands of various objects were found in it, including a gilded chariot, seats, a bed, lamps, precious jewelry, clothes, writing instruments, and even a tuft of hair from his grandmother. This discovery gave the world the most complete picture of the magnificence of the ancient Egyptian court.

In view of the election as king of Memphis as his de facto capital, numerous tombs of the nobles were built in the necropolis of Saqqara, among which are the tombs of the military commander Horemheb, the treasurer and architect Maya, known for their elegant relief decoration. In Thebes, the tomb of the nobleman Heavy, who was at that time the royal governor of Nubia, was well preserved.

In addition to restoration work in many shrines, on the orders of Tutankhamun, the decoration of the procession colonnade of Amenhotep III in Luxor Temple was completed, a small Khoron temple in Giza was built, in Nubia a giant temple complex Amenhotep III was completed, in Soleb, the temple of Amonin Kava and the sanctuary was erected in Faras. The memorial temple of the king, decorated with beautiful polychrome sandstone colosses, was located in Thebes near Medinet Abu. Later, the temple was usurped by the successors of the king – Eye and Horemheb. The latter included Tutankhamun in the list of heretics devoted to oblivion.

King Tutankhamun‘s Death

For ten years, Tutankhamun reigned, and for ten years, his spouse tried to give him an heir, but to no avail. After a 10-year reign, before he reached the age of 20, which was established by the anatomical study of his mummy, Tutankhamun, apparently struck by some kind of disease and died. Tutankhamun died young at age 19. His widow, the queen, daughter of Nefertiti Ankhesenamon, appealed to the ruler of the Hittites, sworn enemies of Egypt, with a request to send the prince as her husband: “My husband is dead, but I have no son.” And the Hittite ruler sent one of the sons. However, the prince named Tsannantsu died en route under mysterious circumstances. Anghesenamon married his supreme dignitary, the vizier Eye, who became a pharaoh. Perhaps it was Eye who organized the assassination of Cannancu. After Eye’s death, the commander-in-chief Horemheb, the second suspect in the murder of the Hittite prince, sat on the throne.

Sights of The Times of King Tutankhamun That Have Survived To This Day

1.Tomb of Tutankhamun

The tomb of Tutankhamun became one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the XX century. Only on his mummy were placed 143 gold items. In addition, in the four halls of the tomb, the royal throne, decorated with relief images, statuettes of the king and his wife, many ritual vessels, jewelry, weapons, clothes, and the magnificent golden funerary mask of Tutankhamun was found.

2.Sarcophagus of Tutankhamun

The mummy of Tutankhamun was stored in three sarcophagi inserted into each other, the last of which was 1.85 m long, made of pure gold. The weight of the sarcophagus is 110.4 kg. The sarcophagus of Tutankhamun is a masterpiece of world jewelry, inlaid with turquoise, lapis lazuli, and carnelian.

3. Tutankhamun’s Golden Mask

The golden burial mask of Tutankhamun, accurately conveying the facial features of the young pharaoh, was found in the tomb of the pharaoh in the Valley of the Kings. This is one of the most outstanding monuments of the Egyptian art of the XVIII dynasty. The priceless golden mask weighing 9 kg is the most important asset of the Cairo National Museum.

4.Throne of Tutankhamun

Tutankhamun’s inlaid golden throne – a masterpiece of ceremonial furniture was found in the tomb of the pharaoh in the Valley of the Kings. The back of the throne is decorated with flexible figures of the royal couple, engraved on a gold sheet, with inserts of gems, silver, faience, and colored glass.

5. Tutankhamun Statue

A statue of Tutankhamun, found in the tomb of the pharaoh in the Valley of the Kings, is currently kept in the Egyptian National Museum.

6. Valley of the Pharaohs

The tomb of Tutankhamun, the most famous in the Valley of the Pharaohs, has the KV62 index and is the only tomb that has almost not been plundered, reached the scientists in its original form, although it was opened twice by tomb thieves. It was discovered in 1922 by two Englishmen – Egyptologist Howard Carter and amateur archaeologist Lord Carnarvon.

See Also
King Khufu Biography
Nefertiti Biography