Who was Tut Ankh Amun?
King Tut Ankh Amun (King Tutankhamun) was one of the kings of the 18th dynasty of the New Kingdom of the Pharaonic period. He was the ruler of Egypt from 1334 until 1325 B.C.
Tut Ankh Amun became the king of Egypt when he was only 9 years old. The word “Tut Ankh Amun” in ancient Egyptian means “the living incarnation of Amun,” the most important god in ancient Egypt.
Tut Ankh Amun lived in a transitory period of ancient Egyptian history as he became the ruler of Egypt after Akhenaton, who tried to unify the multi-god system in Egypt into the worship of only one god, Aton, the god of the Sun.
However, when Akhenaton passed away, and Tut Ankh Amun became his successor, the multi-god system became prominent in Egypt once again, represented by the ascendance of the worship of Amun once again. The tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered in 1932 by Howard Carter and managed to garner major media attention worldwide. His grave was intact and featured some of the most beautiful burial items and furniture ever found. The funeral mask of King Tutankhamun wore is one of the most famous ancient artifacts in the world.
Another reason behind the worldwide fame of King Tutankhamun was his death at an early age, an incident that many historians find to be strange, especially after checking out his mummy and finding out there were some fractures in his skull. Most historians and Egyptologists believe that King Tut was the son of Amenhotep IV, better known as Akhenaton. It is also believed that his ruling period lasted only from 8 to 10 years
When scientists examined the mummy of Tut Ankh Amun, they found out that he died while he was young. In fact, they found he was less than 20 years old when he passed away, and his age was determined later to be 19 years old when he died
During the ruling period of Tut Ankh Amun, a revolt began in Tell El Amarna against the former king of Egypt at the time, Akhenaton. He had moved the capital of Egypt from Thebes to his new city Akhet Aton which was located near the governorate of Al Minya today and some people were angry at him.
In 1331 B.C., in the third year of the reign of Tut Ankh Amun, the multi-god system became prevailing once again, and the capital went back to Thebes again as well.
Reasons Behind The Death Of King Tut Ankh Amun
For a very long period of time, the reasons behind the death of Tut Ankh Amun were debatable, and many historical theories asserted that he was murdered. However, when the mummy of Tut Ankh Amun was scanned using the three-dimensional CT, the famous Egyptian Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced that there was no evidence whatsoever that proved that Tut Ankh Amun was murdered.
Hawass added that the hole King Tut had in his skull was not due to the fact that he was hit in his head as it was believed in the past, but it was due to the mummification process of the king after his death. Hawass also noted that the fracture that was found in one of the thighs of Tut Ankh Amun was not due to any criminal actions but was because King Tut had a break in his leg before he died. The final report of the Egyptologists who examined the mummy of Tut Ankh Amun concluded that the reason behind his death was due to blood poisoning he was exposed to, which led to his death. Whether it was intentional is not known.
Discovery Of The Tomb of Tut Ankh Amun
The Tomb of Tut Ankh Amun was discovered on November 4, 1922, by the British archeologist Howard Carter. While doing some excavation work in the tunnel leading to the tomb of Ramses IV in the Valley of the Kings, Carter noticed that there was a large cellar. He went on with his excavation until he stumbled upon the tomb of Tut Ankh Amun.
The small burial chamber of Tut Ankh Amun had wonderful portrayals telling the story of the death of the king with marvelous colors and decorations. This discovery was among the most important scientific discoveries in the 20th century due to the fact that the mummy of King Tut Ankh Amun was found intact and in fairly good condition with all its wonderful necklaces, rings, sticks, and crowns made out of gold and the purest types of wood. Moreover, Howard Carter was the first person to enter the tomb of Tut Ankh Amun in around 3,000 years, as the tomb had been hidden in the sand of the mountain for centuries.
Carter noticed that there was a wooden box with golden ornaments in the middle of the burial chamber and when he opened this box, he found another similar wooden golden ornamented box. When Carter opened the second box, he found the third box, and at the end, Carter was able to find the sarcophagus of the king that was carved to look like Tut Ankh Amun. When Carter opened the sarcophagus he found the main golden coffin of King Tut Ankh Amun: the most valuable item in the tomb that still amazes the whole world with its beauty.
Carter had to cut through three golden coffins in order to reach the mummy of Tut Ankh Amun, which was carefully wrapped in silk cloths. In the end, when Carter was able to take off the whole shroud, he found the mummy in good condition wearing all his royal necklaces and rings and with his pure golden crook and crown in amazing condition.
The Treasures Of Tut Ankh Amun
The Tomb of Tut Ankh Amun was discovered almost intact, and this was why the items that were found in the tomb clarified many facts about the religious and funerary beliefs of ancient Egypt.
The Pharaoh of Egypt was always buried with all his personal belongings, including all the items that he used since he was a child, like some of his toys.
Moreover, all the other things that the king used during his life, like pencils, colors, outfits and clothes, and jewelry that he would use in the afterlife, were buried along with him.
Among the most important items in the tomb of Tut Ankh Amun is the only surviving throne chair that dates back to ancient Egypt. There is also a chariot that is pulled by horses, and some weapons, including swords, daggers, arches, and bayonets.
The most precious item that was found in the tomb of Tut Ankh Amun was his golden coffin. It weighs more than 110 kilograms and is made of pure gold. Other extremely valuable items are King Tut's golden mask that is ornamented with precious stones and weighs 11 kilograms, two other coffins that were made out of wood ornamented with gold, and 314 “Shobaty” statues, which were put with the deceased to work instead of him in the afterlife.
Archeologists were also able to find 32 statues of Tut Ankh Amun and the gods of the afterlife, all made out of wood ornamented with gold. A lot of jewelry was found in the tomb of Tut Ankh Amun as well, and the collection included 143 golden items ornamented with precious stones, with most of them portraying the sun god in several forms.
A huge collection of alabaster was also unearthed along with King Tut, and it consists of many containers and vessels in the tomb of Tut Ankh Amun. This is in addition to a marvelously designed and crafted alabaster lamp. This lamp was put with the king in his tomb so he would be able to find his way in the afterlife.
The collection of jewelry of Tut Ankh Amun is among the most famous and rarest collections of ancient Egypt and also contains many necklaces, earrings, and crowns, as well as an ornamented pendant made out of gold, silver, garnet, precious stones, turquoise, and white, black, green, red, and blue colored glass. This piece is one of the most beautiful jewelry items found in the Tut Ankh Amun tomb.
The Importance Of The Collection Of Tut Ankh Amun
There are many reasons behind the importance of the collection of King Tut Ankh Amun. The first is that all the belongings of Tut Ankh Amun date back to the 18th dynasty, the most vibrant period of ancient Egyptian history, as Egypt had several commercial and political activities with regions located to the South and the East of the country. The second reason is that the treasures of Tut Ankh Amun are the most complete and intact Pharaonic treasures ever found in history. The treasures consist of more than 385 items that, include the marvelous golden mummy cover of Tut Ankh Amun, three golden coffins, and many magnificent items that people from all over the world visit Egypt to view and admire.