Ask anyone to name an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh, and the most common answer you’ll probably get is “King Tutankhamun”. This isn’t really surprising since King Tut has become one of the most well-known pharaohs around the world. Check out these interesting facts to learn more about him.
1. He Started His Reign At a Young Age.
Tutankhamun became the king of Egypt when he was eight or nine years old, which earned him the nickname “Boy King”. However, because of his young age, he most likely didn’t start ruling right away; experts speculate that most of the decisions were made by senior figures in the royal palace or the army.
Despite his early start as a royal ruler, King Tut didn’t get to enjoy the position for long. He passed away at a tender age of nineteen, ending his rule in just ten years.
2. He Married His Half-Sister.
Incest wasn’t a strange concept in Ancient Egypt; in fact, it was a widely accepted practice among royals, who believed that they descended from the gods and therefore tried to keep their bloodlines pure. Because of this, nobody batted an eye when King Tutankhamun married his half-sister Ankhesenamun, who was the daughter of Tut’s father Akhenaten and his chief wife Nefertiti.
Tutankhamun himself was believed to be conceived from incest. His mother Kira was a lesser wife of Akhenaten — and also his sister.
3. Tutankhamun Had Contrasting Beliefs With His Father.
Akhenaten believed that the sun god Aten was the most important among the deities. Because of this, he made several changes (such as closing the temples of the other gods and moving the capital from Thebes to another place that’s dedicated to Aten) to encourage the Egyptians to worship him. But Tutankhamun didn’t share these beliefs so, during his reign, he reversed the changes made by his father and restored the kingdom’s religious traditions.
4. His Tomb Was Discovered In 1922.
British archeologist Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in November 4, 1922. Carter, with the funding of Lord Carnarvon, had been working in the Valley of the Kings for years since 1907 (with his excavations interrupted only by World War I). Carnarvon threatened to withdraw his funding in 1922 because the project had little success, but his financial support and Carver’s hard work weren’t in vain because the excavations revealed the steps to King Tut’s tomb and eventually the tomb itself.
5. There Are Several Theories About The Cause Of His Death.
Nobody really knows exactly why Tutankhamun died at just 19 years old. His skull had been damaged, which led some people to speculate that he died because of a blow to the head (either accidental or inflicted by someone who wanted to murder him). However, recent tests have determined that the king’s skull was damaged after his death — either by his embalmers or during Carver’s inspections of the tomb — and was not the cause of his demise.
Studies show that Tutankhamun possibly died because of a leg infection, which probably developed when he fell off a chariot. A DNA test revealed that he had malaria, which might have caused him to fall off and even worsened the infection in his leg.
King Tutankhamun may have ruled for a short time, but his life has fascinated people all over world and resulted to an increased interest in Ancient Egyptian history.