10 things that every person needs to know about King Tut
by Marie Seva
Tutankhamun or Tutankhamen or Tutankhamon or more commonly referred to as King Tut, was an Egyptian pharaoh who was enthroned at a very young age. He ruled the Egyptians for about 10 years from 1332 BC to 1323 BC during a period known as the New Kingdom (based on Egyptian history). Though his rule began early in his life, he was also considerably young when it ended. More on this and other interesting facts about the reknowned Egyptian ruler.
1. King Tut made a number of modifications on the policies left by his father, Akhenaten. He worked on the restoration of diplomatic ties with other neighboring kingdoms which his father didn’t put much importance on. He also brought back celebrations conducted for the gods. And he had ended the veneration for the god, Aten and revived worship for the god, Amun. This explains the change of his name from originally being Tutankhaten which means “Living image of Aten” to Tutankhamun which means “Living image of Amun”.
2. King Tut’s physical attributes include having a height of 5 ft 11 in, a slightly elongated skull, large front incisors and an overbite attributed to the Thutmosid Dynasty. Research suggests that he had a mild case of a cleft palate and of a scoliosis.
3. Based on research conducted using DNA testing on the mummies in King Tut’s family, his father, Akhenaten and his mother, were both born of Amenhotep III and Tiye, hence, they were siblings to each other. His mother was one of the five sisters of his father. This may explain his mild cleft palate and scoliosis, both of which are defects that can be brought about by a union between people of very close blood relations.
4. King Tut married Ankhesenpaaten, who later changed her name to Ankhesenamun. Research shows that she is his half-sister. They had two children who never saw daylight. One child died 5-6 months through Ankhesenamun’s pregnancy, while the other died on the 9th month. The early death of their children can be attributable to their conception from parents coming from the same blood line which can bring about genetic defects that would not permit them to reach full term.
5. King Tut died at the early age of 19. Among the many speculations on the cause of his death were having a temporal lobe epilepsy which caused his fatal fall, having the sickle cell disease, having received a blow on his head, having Kohler disease II, having malaria and contracting many other diseases. In 2013, however, Dr. Chris Naunton, together with other scientists from the Cranfield Institute, used virtual autopsy which revealed that he could have died from a chariot crashing into him while he was on his knees.
6. King Tut’s remains have been burnt, according to a report from Howard Carter. Dr. Naunton, together with Dr. Robert Connolly and Dr. Matthew Ponting found evidence of his body being charred while inside the coffin. They said that the coffin reached temperatures that were over 200 degrees Centigrade from a chemical reaction between the embalming oils, oxygen and linen, and this caused the burning.
7. King Tut’s tomb was robbed at least two times. His tomb was found to have body armor, folding stools and various gifts from the countries he created good ties with. Among the items robbed were oils and perfumes. Research shows that the robberies took place only some months after the burial of the young pharaoh.
8. The curse accompanying the disturbance of pharaoh’s tombs, seem to not apply to King Tut. Based on journals and records, among those who joined the expedition in 1922 of Howard Carter and George Herbert, when they found the tomb of King Tut, the age of death of those who entered the tomb and those who did not, had no significant difference.
9. King Tut is quite famous internationally. His relics are among the most traveled in the world reaching USA, USSR, Japan, France, Canada, West Germany and Australia. In the Treasures of Tutankhamun tour in 1972 to 1979, in London, it drew more than 1.6 million attendees and in the U.S. it drew more than 8 million visitors.
10. King Tut is so popular that his name has been included in TV shows, films, songs, novels and even in video games (e.g. Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy). However, his popularity in modern times seem to be ironic to his era. Jon Manchip White wrote, “The pharaoh who in life was one of the least esteemed of Egypt’s Pharaohs has become in death the most renowned.”
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