King Tut, The Last Pharaoh, Tomb Found
The Egyptian Boy King is one of many names King Tutankhamen has been known by. The name refers to the young age that he became King of Egypt. He was only nine years old when he became King. Although, neither of these names is what you probably know him as. He is more well known as King Tut. Tutankhamen is his proper name. He lived over thirty-three hundred years ago and was the twelfth ruler during the eighteenth dynasty from 1333 BC -1323 BC; reigning for ten years. He died at around 19 years old, which was consequentially the death of a long line of rulers in a powerful family. He died as the last heir to the throne. he reigned during the New Kingdom period when Egypt was the superpower of the world. This was a very big responsibility for such a young man's shoulders.
Howard Carter Opening the Tomb
Uncovering a Tomb
In November 1922, Howard Carter uncovered his tomb and all the treasures that it beheld. In fact, it is his tomb that makes him so famous not his accomplishments. Most tombs that were buried that long ago, were plundered and all the treasures were taken and sold. King Tut's tomb still remains today the most intact tomb that has ever been found. Plus there were many Egyptian artifacts, such as clothing and items with hieroglyphics.
His tomb was actually small for what was customary for a tomb of someone of his status. This may be because his death was unexpected and a grander tomb was not able to be made. The unexpectedness of his death is presumed due to the fact that he died as a teenager. They may have used a tomb that was intended for someone else.
Aside from his mummy, they have uncovered almost 600 mummies as part of the Egyptian Mummy Project. This project began in late 2003. Now they are in process of scanning each mummy through CT scan.
King Tut's Golden Mask
On the tombs of many of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh's is written a curse, promising death on any person who was to plunder from their remains. Although seeing as how King Tut is one of the few whose remains remained intact with all his worldly riches, this curse did seem to scare off many of the ancient Egyptians back in the time. But were they cursed?
Many of us would laugh at the mere possibility of truly being cursed today. But is it really that unreasonable? Howard Carter who led the archaeological dig did, in fact, survive the taking of his remains. Although it might be important to note that Howard Carter was not the one who opened it, Lord Carnarvon was actually the one who financed the search of Egyptian legacies was found dead by blood poisoning. It was found in February 1923, by April of that same year, Carnarvon was dead. Struck by the curse, who knows? In fact, of all those who were part of the uncovering of King Tut's remains, there were six deaths. Although the molds uncovered would not kill the average person, but in high doses, some with weakened immune systems could be deadly.
Since then though, it is believed that the curse may be more biological than magical. For when Tut's tomb was uncovered there was a lot of notes regarding molds that were within the tomb. Although they have not been able to recover those specimens to see if they truly were deadly, they have uncovered molds from similar mummified tombs. It is believed because Lord Carnarvon was already in very poor health, that the molds may have actually been the real cause of his death. This could also account for the other five deaths as well.
Pectoral of Amenemhat III
The Death of King Tuthanthuman
For the first time in eighty years, the modern world decided to use modern technology to discover the truth of King Tut's mysterious death. In 2005, he is one of the first mummies to ever have a full body CT scan. Previously they had believed that he had died due to a head injury and possible murder because of bone fragments that were found inside his skull during a 1968 x-ray.
These CT scans studied all 1,700 x-ray images cross sectioning his entire body from head to toe and studied by nine different doctors. All nine doctors unanimously agree that he did not die due to trauma to the head. The skull is very much intact, and the bone fragments are most likely as a result of the original archaeological dig, not prior to death.
They did find after further investigation that he was in fact around 19 years old as earlier believed when he died. His wisdom teeth and skeleton were fully developed. he was approximately five feet six inches tall with a slight build. He was also believed to be in excellent health. The actual cause of death is unsure due to injuries found in the lower half of King Tut's body. They are unsure what was done before death and what was done from Carter's team during the original excavation.
Despite extensive information about King Tut's tomb, little is actually known about Tutankhamen himself. Although we do know that he was born sometime around 1341 BC although his parentage is unknown. Prior to DNA testing, they were unsure whether his true father was Amenophis III or Amenophis IV, they both are better known as Akhenaten. Once DNA testing was done on both King Tut and Amenophis IV, it was confirmed that Amenophis IV was, in fact, his father.
Since his father is, in fact, Amenophis IV, then there are three possibilities of who his mother is. The first one is Meketaten, which would actually be Amenophis's IV daughter. This would not be completely implausible as they often tried to keep bloodlines close in royal families. She died during childbirth around the same time as Tutankhamen would have been born. She would have been between 9 and 12. She most likely died due to her youthfulness. The Royal tomb at Amarna shows Meketaten's death with a newborn in the arms of a wet nurse. Some speculate that the baby was King Tut. Although, if she was the mother another possible father would be a man named Smenkhare.
The other two possibilities would be Nefertiti or his second wife Kiya. Nefertiti is the more common belief, as this is also the mother of Meketaten. Nefertiti is known to have given birth to seven children. The first six were definitely female, Meketaten was the second born in 1350 BC. The last was born in 1341 BC which is also when Tut was born. Since it is unknown whether the child was female or male or the name of the child, some believe it was King Tut himself.
Dr. Hawass was one person who believed that his second wife Kiya was, in fact, King Tut's mother. Another known fact is that when he became King at nine years old he was married to Ankhesenpaaten who at one time was called Ankesenamen. Ankhesenpaaten was most likely his half-sister and about five years older than him. They had no surviving children; therefore, he had no surviving heirs after his death. There were two fetuses found in Tutankhamun's tomb, which have not yet been identified as his children. But as they were only fetuses, they did not survive childbirth. Their close relations may have been partially at fault. The older of the two fetuses had spina bifida and scoliosis.
© 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz