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King Tutankhamun Essay, Research Paper

King Tutankhamun lived over 3,300 years ago during a period known as the New Kingdom. This period of time was called the New Kingdom because it was when the pharaohs united upper and lower Egypt into one kingdom with the capital being Memphis near current day Cairo. The reason I chose to write a research paper on King Tut is because he is one of the most well known pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Tutankhamun is most well known only by the discovery of his intact tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon.

King Tut was born in 1343 B.C. into the 18th Dynasty. Early in his life Tutankaten meaning the “Living Image of the Aten” changed his name to the well-known Tutankamun meaning “Living Image of Amun”. Tutankhamun began his education at the young age of four learning first to read then to write. He was probably often found himself playing the ancient board game of Senet. The young pharaoh was involved in many sports such as swimming, fishing, and hunting. His passion was in hunting waterfowl, hare, gazelle, ibex, antelope, and ostrich. By the time of his death he had acquired forty-six bows the largest of which measured six feet in length.

King Tutankamun became the pharaoh at the young age of nine years old. He ruled over a troubled country that was in chaos because previous dynasties had alienated their gods. The people loved and adored their young king. Since he was so young he had powerful and experienced advisers mainly Ay and Horemheb the commander-in-chief of the army. During King Tut’s reign he and his powerful advisors propriatated the gods and restored the religion and traditional art styles of the early pharaohs as well as rebuild the temples of Amun. King Tut also moved the capitol to Memphis near modern-day Cairo.

Being the king of the most large and powerful empire in the ancient world also came with some perks. The dressing of Tutankhamun was a ritual event carried out in front of expert courtiers. Some items that were found in his tomb were sandals, necklaces, jewels, kilts, and some undershirts with embroidery around the collar area. Such simple garments would take up to 3,000 hours to hand craft by some estimates. The wearing of gloves by the Egyptians was very rare and reserved for the upper class. Tut had 27 pairs of gloves some of which bore stitching that wasn’t reinvented until the 18th century. This amazed many modern glove makers that the Egyptians had such sophisticated stitching techniques.

The king’s life though short had its fair amount of interaction with the ladies. Tutankhamun married Ankhesenamen, the third daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. Ankhesenamen was about four years older than her husband and gained deep affection from the young pharaoh as she helped him transition from boyhood to kingship. When Tutankhamun died his grieving widow placed a wreath of cornflowers on his second coffin. The flowers only grew in the winter which signals that King Tut died in the pleasantly cool Egyptian winter.

Some time around the ninth year of Tut’s reign possibly 1325 B.C. he died. There is evidence of an injury to his skull. One belief is that he led a raiding party into Nubia, which resulted in a fatal arrow wound by his left ear. Some other theories are that he had fallen of his horse-drawn chariot or that he was even murdered by his royal advisors. After the pharaoh’s death the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian army Horemheb assumed power by marrying Tutankhamun’s mother. Then the 19th Dynasty rulers took over and labored hard to return Egypt to its former glory as a world power.

Over the centuries since the reign of the mighty Egyptian pharaohs grave robbers have decimated the tombs and pyramids of the Egyptian pharaohs robbing the priceless artifacts and jewels buried with the pharaohs as a testament of good will so that the pharaoh would look after them in the after life. Not much was known about these tombs and how they were arranged until the British expedition led by Carter and Carnarvon unearthed the untouched intact tomb of King Tutankhamun in 1922. This discovery quickly made King Tutankhamun one of the most famous pharaohs in the history of Egypt. It also changed many of our beliefs as to the mummification process and how the tombs were arranged.

Carter and Carnarvon discovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the East Valley of the Valley of the Kings. It has been recreated several times in museums around the world. The tomb was actually quite small for a Pharaoh. It was probably built for someone of lesser importance but at the pharaoh’s unexpected death was rushed into modification to accommodate the pharaoh. The tomb is composed of four chambers: the annex, antechamber, burial chamber, and treasury. The burial chamber contains wall paintings as well as the coffin of King Tutankhamun.

Before the opening of the tomb novelist Mari Corelli gave a public warning that there would be dire consequences for anyone who entered the sealed tomb. Then just seven weeks after the official opening of the tomb “Tutankhamun’s Curse” struck. On April 5th, 1923 Lord Carnarvon died and all sorts of links were found such as all the lights in Cairo went out at the same time of his death and also back in England his dog was said to have howled and died at the same time as his owner’s death.

King Tutankhamun has always been and will always be the first pharaoh that I think about when I think about ancient Egypt. His tomb and its treasures symbolize Egypt’s greatness and multiple centuries of prosperity.



Egypt: Land of the Pharaohs

By the Editors of Time-Life Books

Published By: The Time Inc. Book Company

Copyright 1992

Ancient Civilizations

By: Christopher Scarre & Brian M. Fagan

Published By: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.

Copyright 1997





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