Tutankhamun in Egyptology books

April 4,2023


King Tutankhamun (c. 1341 BCE–c. 1323 BCE)

King Tutankhamun is the most celebrated Egyptian historical figure in Egyptology books. His original name was Tutankhaten, meaning "the living image of Aten". But, later, when he left his parent's new Gods for the old Gods, he changed his name to Tutankhamun ( the living image of Amun). This boy-king ruled Egypt for ten years and unexpectedly died at 19. In 1922, Howard Carter, a British archaeologist, found Tutankhamun's 3000-year-old tomb. The tomb was surprisingly intact, and the artefacts and treasures inside the tomb were also in surprisingly good condition. Egyptologists discovered toys from his childhood, precious statues and jewellery of ebony and gold, and perfumes. A vast collection of 5,398 items revealed ancient Egyptian pharaohs' incredible history and wealth. 

The Royal Lineage of King Tutankhamun

DNA testing identified King Tut as the son of the powerful pharaoh Akhenaten( Amenhotep IV). His mother, Nefertiti, was probably one of Akhenaten's sisters and his wife Ankhesenamun, a half-sister. The two foetal mummies show that King Tut's daughters were stillborn. Akhenaten was a controversial king who upended the traditional rituals and promoted the monotheistic worship of Aten. 

He had also made Amarna the religious capital of Egypt, replacing Thebes. After the revolutionary reign of Akhenaten, there were two intervening pharaohs before Tutankhaten. Once made the pharaoh, King Tut renounced the Egyptian God Aten and reinstated the centuries-old polytheistic form of worship. He also removed his father's mummy from the tomb at Akhetaten and reburied him in the Valley of Kings. Such radical acts helped strengthen his reign and diplomatic relations with other countries. As Tutankhamen was very young at his accession, an elderly official named Ay served as his chief adviser and Horemheb as general of the armies.

The Death of King Tutankhamun

There are countless theories about the death of King Tut. In 1968 a study was conducted based on an x-ray of the skull. According to this study, the cause of his death was a fatal wound on the head. But they disproved the theory on further analysis. 

According to a recent Egyptology book, 3538, a CT scan of the mummy in 2005 showed that his right foot was flat with hypophalangism, and he had suffered a compound fracture in his left leg, perhaps the result of a fall. As evidence of the theory that King Tut was a lame Pharaoh, the Egyptologists found more than 100 walking sticks among the artefacts buried with him. 

The carvings on the palm reveal an ambiguous image. It can be the image of Tutankhamun's journey to hunt ostrich in his chariot or his comeback in triumph with the prey. The fact that the Egyptian nobility was fond of Ostrich hunting and the presence of fans made ostrich feather in his tomb points to this. 

According to a recent Egyptology book series, the writer points to the fact that the physicians who mummified a seriously injured Tutankhamun's body did not follow the ancient Egyptology book of the dead. Tutankhamun's mummy was devoid of heart. Instead, there was an amuletic scarab engraved with a funerary spell. There can be many reasons for the missing of the heart. Maybe the physicians lost his heart out of carelessness, or they did not get his heart in a preservable condition as the body was seriously injured. These injuries indicate that he may have died during an ostrich hunt after a deadly accident. This whole situation is against the ancient Egyptology book of the dead and points to his bad death. 

The burial of Tutankhamun

Ancient Egyptians believed in life after death, which is mentioned in the ancient Egyptology books for the dead. They believed that people had a spirit and a body. According to their belief in the afterlife, one person's spirit has to rejoin the body. They, therefore, preserved the body of a dead person in the form of a mummy. During mummification, they removed the moisture of the dead body with natron salt and covered it with different layers of bandages to maintain its natural shape. In the next step, they would remove the internal organs and keep them separately. But they would leave the heart and brain in place. In Ancient Egypt, the heart is the primary organ of inference and reasoning. Hence it is necessary for the afterlife. For this reason, physicians keep the heart as it is. If they had removed it accidentally, it would sew it back immediately.

Some of the best Egyptology books suggest that an inexperienced embalmer mummified the King. And the body was devoid of his heart, which is important for the afterlife as per the Egyptian belief system. 

Egyptology booksThe tomb of Tutankhamun

As per some of the best egyptology books, the discovery of his tomb is among the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. Though the tomb is small compared to his royal status, the royal artefacts are invaluable. The tomb's size is small, maybe because his death was sudden and unexpected. Foreign and conquerors robbed the tomb many times during the span of history. The history hid the tomb beneath the debris of other tombs and newer constructions. The robbers never reached where the mummy was kept as the main entrance was hidden. Many blasted sides of the tomb to enter, but it was all in vain due to its tricky construction and design.

King Tut's mummy lay in a nest of three solid gold coffins inside the tomb. A golden face mask and numerous other jewellery pieces were laid upon the mummy's wrappings. It took ten years for Howard Carter to catalogue the items found inside the tomb. Furthermore, some contents buried with the mummy for King's enriched afterlife include archery bows, gold toe stalls, wine, furniture, food, sandals, thrones, clothes, chariots, weapons, amulets, a lotus chalice and trumpets. 

King Tut's famous Iron dagger

According to a recent Egyptology book series, the ancient Egyptians regarded iron as the most precious metal. They called it "Iron from the sky" because they received it from meteorites. Howard Carter discovered two daggers within Tutankhamun's mummy wraps. One was a gold dagger, and the other was an iron dagger. Both daggers were sheathed in gold.

Tutankhamun's iron dagger was one of his most prized items. According to Egyptology books, he acquired it from his grandfather Amenhotep III. The dagger was quite distinct from the other items in the tomb. And, It looked like someone brought the daggers from a place where they knew how to work on this metal. Recent Egyptological research indicates that king Tushratta gifted the identical dagger to his new son-in-law Amenhotep III.

Tutankhamun later obtained this knife, which became his most prized item. There were different iron objects in his tomb, apart from this knife: an amulet, a miniature headrest, and sixteen tiny blades. However, they were not as beautifully fashioned as the dagger, suggesting that local artisans struggled to deal with the extremely uncommon meteorite iron.

The Most Celebrated Mummy of a Pharaoh in History

King Tutankhamun's fame is primarily the result of his well-preserved tomb and the systemic search for evidence because nobody knew about him before the excavation in the 1920s. None of the books on Egyptology mentioned him before the excavation. At the time of the tomb's discovery, the newspapers cooked up rumours like the "curse of the pharaoh" for increasing their readership. The global exhibitions of the artefacts recovered from his tomb invited unprecedented visitorship, especially the "Treasures of Tutankhamun" exhibitions of 1972-79. The artefacts were on an international tour from 2019-to 2021. Now the boy- King with his priceless possessions resting in Cairo's new Grand Egyptian Museum. 




Do you want to join an online course
that will better your career prospects?

Give a new dimension to your personal life