King Tutankhamun

Tutankhamun became pharaoh and ruled his empire for about ten years since he was nine years old and significance arises from his declination of the radical religious innovation introduce by his predecessor, Akhenaten and the discovery of his tomb in Valley of the Kings by Carter which is untouched. His vizier and last successor, Ay, perhaps makes most of the important political decisions for Tutankhamun since he was too young to begin his reign and he was respected as a god and honored with a cult-like following in his own lifetime. A stela founded at Kamak and dedicated to Amun-Re and Tutankhamun shows that the king could be appealed for forgiveness and to free the petitioner from sickness cause by wrongdoing.

Besides, there were also temples of his cult that were built in Kawa and Faras in Nubia.He was initially thought to be the son of Amenhotep III and his Great Royal Wife Queen Tiye. Later, research stated that he may have been the son of Amenhotep III but not by Queen Tiye, since Tiye would have been more than fifty years old at the time of Tutankhamun’s birth. Hypothesis also states that Tutankhamun was the son of Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV) and Queen Kiya supported by images on the tomb wall in the tomb of Akhenaten that show a nurse holding a baby which is said to be the boy king-to-be.

Professor James Allen argues that Tutankhamun was probably to be a son of the short-lived king Smenkhkare rather than Akhenaten. Allen argues that Akhenaten consciously chose a female co-regent named Neferneferuaten as his successor, rather than Tutankhamun. Smenkhkare appears when Akhenaten entered year 14 of his reign and it is thought that during this time Meritaten married Smenkhkare. Smenkhkare, as the father of Tutankhamun, needed at least a three year reign to bring Tutankhamun to the right age to have inherited the throne.Lately, Zahi Hawass says that the recovery of a part of a limestone block depicting Tutankhamun and his wife Ankhesenamen, along with text, identifies both Tutankhamun and his wife Ankhesenpaaten as children of the king’s body.

Whether Tutankhamun’s mother is Nefertiti or Kiya is still to be determined. Kings have had very influential advisors. General Horemheb records that the king had appointed him lord of the land. King changed his name from Tutankhaten to Tutankhamun in his third regal year. Akhenaten had attempted to replace the traditional priesthood and deities with Aten god. The traditional privileges were restored to their priesthoods, and capital was moved back to the city of Akhenaten abandoned. The temples of the gods and goddesses were in ruins.

A temple to Amun was dedicated by the king during his restoration process and the king declared had “spent his life in fashioning the images of the gods”. Tutankhamun tried to restore the diplomatic relations with other kingdoms. The king married Ankhesenepatan but they had no surviving offspring. Tutankhamun’s mummy was buried in a tomb intended for someone else because he died before the completion of a grander royal tomb. Tutankhamun faded from public consciousness in Ancient Egypt after his death and remained unidentified until early twentieth century. His tomb was robbed at least twice in antiquity.

The reason of Tutankhamun’s death is still unclear. Initial examination of the body was conducted by the British archaeologist Howard Carter’s team in the early 1920s. Carter’s team cut up the mummy into different pieces to obtain the jewelry: the arms and legs were separated, the torso cut in half and the head was severed. X-rays of Tutankhamun’s mummy, taken in 1968, revealed an intense spot at the lower back of the skull interpreted as a subdural hematoma. A trauma specialist from Long Island University at C. W.

Post Campus insisted that this injury could not have been from a natural cause. Theories as to who was in charge for the death include Tutankhamun’s immediate successor Ay, his wife, and his chariot-driver. Scientists discovered a small, loose, sliver of bone within the upper cranial cavity, which was discovered from the same X-ray analysis. A blow to the back of the head caused the brain to move forward, hitting the front of the skull, breaking small pieces of the bone right above the eyes. In March 8, 2005, Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass shown the results of a CT scan performed on the pharaoh’s mummy. The scan uncovered no proof of a blow to the back of the head and no evidence signifying foul play. There was a crack in the skull, but it appeared to have been drilled, by embalmers. A fracture to Tutankhamun’s left thighbone was interpreted as evidence that the pharaoh badly broke his leg shortly before he died and his leg became severely infected.

Based on his physical developments, his age at death was estimated at nineteen years. He had large front incisors and the overbite characteristic of the Thutmosid royal line to which he belonged. He also had a distinct elongated skull which is likely an exaggeration of a family trait, rather than a distinct abnormality. Scientists found a slight bend to his spine, but agreed that it was more likely to have been caused by the embalming process. However, it was subsequently noted by Zahi Hawass that the mummy found in KV55 (KV is an abbreviation for Valley of the Kings), provisionally identified as Tutankhamun’s father, exhibited several similarities to that of Tutankhamun – a cleft palate, a dolichocephalic skull and slight scoliosis (also found on one of his stillborns).

The large number of long sticks found in the tomb have been identified by some as walking sticks suggestive of some medical problem; others say they are ceremonial staves, typically carried by pharaohs. The 2005 conclusion by a team of Egyptian scientists, based on the CT scan findings, is that Tutankhamun died of gangrene after breaking his leg (the fracture in Tutankhamun’s left leg is most likely occurred only days before his death, which had then become infected and led directly to his death).

The fracture, in their view, was not persistent during the mummification process or as a result of some damage to the mummy as claimed by Howard Carter. In conclusion, it was most likely caused by a fall from some height – possibly a chariot-riding accident- and could have been deadly within hours. The Egyptian team found evidence that great care was taken with the body of Tutankhamun during the embalming process (They found five distinct embalming equipment , which were applied to the body at different stages of the mummification process).

This counters previous assertions that the king’s body had been prepared hastily. The evidence that he died away from ‘home’ is that he had an excess of resin poured on him to hide the smell of decay. He also had flowers that only bloom in the spring wrapped around his neck. Since mummification takes about 3 to 4 months, he would have died in December or January, which is during the hunting season. But now, evidence from CT scans and new research suggests that Tutankhamun was not murdered, but died from a broken leg caused during a hunting accident. Location of tomb was lost buried by stone chips from subsequent tombs.

Some huts for workers were built over the tomb entrance. At the end of the twentieth dynasty, the Valley of the Kings burials were systematically dismantled, the burial of Tutankhamun was overlooked, presumably because knowledge of it had been lost and his name may have been forgotten. Rumors of a “Curse of the Pharaohs” persisted. Recent studies of journals and death records indicate no statistical difference between the ages of death. Certain cartouches where a king’s name should appear have been altered.

This instance “updating” the artifacts is done to reflect the shift from Tutankhaten to Tutankhamun. The widely accepted theory is the items were originally intended for Smenkhkare. In September 24, 2007, Egyptian archaeologists discovered eight baskets of 3,000-year-old doum fruit in the treasury of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Doum comes from a type of palm tree native to the Nile Valley. Doum fruit is a traditional funeral offering.

Howard Carter’s and his team discovered fifty clay pots containing money that was destined to travel with the pharaoh to the afterlife. King Tutankhamun rests in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings. In November 4, 2007, the pharaoh went on display in his underground tomb at Luxor. The case was designed to prevent the sharp rate of decomposition caused by the humidity and warmth from tourists visiting the tomb. 

source:wikipedia

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