Introduction - King TutankhamunIn 1922 archaeologist Howard Carter would peer through an opening he had just uncovered into a small room which he had hoped would contain the tomb of King Tutankhamun (King Tut); when asked if he could see anything he stated "Yes, wonderful things". What he saw was indeed wonderful; a room glimmering with gold and priceless artifacts; he had made one of the most amazing discoveries in the history of archaeology; he had found the tomb of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, the boy king, King Tutankhamun. Read on for a list of interesting facts about this discovery along with information on who King Tutankhamun was, why he is famous, and where he was buried. This information is written for both adults and kids to enjoy.
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Interesting King Tutankhamun Facts
- King Tutankhamun was an 18th dynasty pharaoh of ancient Egypt; ruling from 1332 BC to 1323 BC.
- He was just a kid, only nine or ten years of age, when he became ruler of the most powerful civilization in the ancient world.
- King Tut's father was Akhenaten (formerly known as Amenhotep IV). His mother was Akhenaten's sister and wife; her name is unknown but her mummy has been discovered.
- From studying his mummy it has been determined that King Tutankhamun was approximately 5 feet 11 inches (1.8 meters) tall and that he had an overbite which was characteristic of his family line.
- Tutankhamun's original name was Tutankhaten, meaning "Living Image of Aten". During his reign he replaced the god Aten with the god Amun as the supreme god and therefore changed his name to Tutankhamun, meaning "Living Image of Amun".
- This pharaoh's name, Tutankhamun, was usually written as Amen-tut-ankh by the ancient Egyptians. His name was written this way in order to place the name of the god first as was the custom and a way to show respect for that god. Amen and Amun were different spellings for the same god.
- From an examination of his mummy it was discovered that King Tut had a slight cleft palate (a split in the roof of his mouth) and that he likely had scoliosis (a side to side curve of the spine).
- He married his half-sister who was named Ankhesenpaaten; she would later change her name to Ankhesenamun.
- Being so young upon taking the throne it is likely that Tutankhamun had important advisers. It is likely that Horemheb, the commander of the Egyptian army during Tutankhamun's reign, served as an important advisor to the young king. In fact Horemheb became pharaoh of Egypt after King Tut even though he was not related to the royal family.
- When King Tutankhamun became the ruler of Egypt the ancient Egyptian civilization's relationships with other civilizations of that time had been weakened. There is some evidence that he made progress towards strengthening relationships. However depicted in his mortuary temple located in Thebes are battles with the Nubians and Asiatics indicating he was not entirely successful in improving these relationships.
- The boy pharaoh's cause of death has never been determined. There is speculation that he was assassinated or that he died from an accident.
Facts about the Discovery of King Tutankhamun's Tomb
- King Tut's tomb was filled with priceless objects including gold statues, precious jewelry, a gold throne, toys from his boyhood, and miniature ships.
- Intruders, most likely looking to steal some of the treasures, entered the tomb sometime after he was buried; most likely shortly after the pharaoh's death. The intruders, for some unknown reason, left without taking numerous valuable objects.
- For seven years Egyptologist Howard Carter searched for the tomb of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings even though it was believed by most Egyptologist that there were no more tombs to be unearthed there.
- In 1922 a team led by Egyptologist Howard Carter discovered a series of steps which led down to a sealed door. Beyond the sealed door was a passageway leading to a second sealed door which had the royal mark of King Tutankhamun on it. Upon breaking through this second door and reaching in with his candle Carter soon saw the gleam of gold everywhere and realized he had found what he had been seeking for seven years; King Tut's tomb.
- Attached to the first room was a second room also filled with amazing treasures.
- After carefully cataloging and removing the artifacts from the first two rooms, which took approximately 2 1/2 months, Carter began to break through yet another door in the tomb which he hoped would contain King Tutankhamun's mummy. Indeed the boy pharaoh was in this last room inside the most amazing treasure yet, a golden coffin.