The tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen was discovered by two Englishmen in 1922. King Tut's tomb was not the largest of the pharaohs' tombs, but it was the most well preserved. About 3,500 items of treasure were found with the body of this minor king. Funeral artefacts were also undisturbed and of great interest to scientists. An exhibition from King Tut's tomb travelled the world in the last quarter of the 20th century and became familiar to millions of people.
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Howard Carter, 1874 -- 1939, was an English archaeologist and Egyptologist. He had no formal education. Carter learnt to draw, paint and copy inscriptions and first worked for the Egyptian Antiquities Service. In 1907 Carter met Lord Carnarvon, a wealthy amateur, and soon was supervising all of Carnarvon's archaeology work. Discouraged by lack of success, Carnarvon had given Carter one more season of funding when they discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen.
King Tutankhamen lived from approximately 1341 to 1323 B.C. and ruled from about 1333 to 1323 B.C. He ruled for only 10 years, and he was only 9 years old when he became king. Experienced adults served as his counsellors. Tutankhamen was the son of Akhenaten (formerly Amenhotep IV) and one of Akhenaten's sisters. He showed many of the characteristics of inbreeding, including small size, a cleft palate and scoliosis, or curvature of the spine.
Changes in Religion
King Tut ended the worship of the god Aten and restored the god Amun to supremacy. Privileges were restored to priests. The capital was moved back to Thebes. Building projects were begun in Thebes and Karnak, where he dedicated a temple to Amun. Many monuments were erected, and an inscription on his tomb door declares the king had "spent his life in fashioning the images of the gods," a practice that would be condemned in Christian countries.
Egypt was economically weak following the reign of Akhenaten. Tutankhamen restored diplomatic relations with other countries. Gifts from various countries were found in his tomb. However evidence of battles with Nubians and Asiatics were recorded there as well. His tomb contained armour and other equipment for military campaigns. It is not likely that the king participated in these battles because he was not in good health and needed a cane to walk.
Death of the Young King
Research showed that King Tut had broken his leg shortly before his death and developed an infection. He had also suffered from severe malaria several times in his short life. It is known that he struggled with congenital abnormalities. Possibly the combination of these disabilities and a bone infection or malaria were too much for him to handle. Not terribly important during his life, King Tutankhamen has since become one of the most famous of the pharaohs.
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