Tuesday, February 14, 2012

King Tutankhamun

King Tut
Perhaps the most famous Egyptian Pharaoh of all time would be this boy-king. It is interesting how during ancient Egypt's 3000 years of world supremacy, it is this boy without fascinating records of his life and achievements who has become one of the only kings most of us can name.

The reason why he became famous is his tomb: complete with his mummy and treasures left untouched for thousands of years. Ever since this lost Pharaoh's tomb full of treasure was found, millions of people have gazed upon him and his treasures. Please note that it is almost impossible to find a Pharaoh's tomb complete with its treasures, due to the infamous grave robbers.

Despite his claim to fame for being the only Pharaoh who had his tomb left untouched for thousands of years, I find his life story to be very intriguing too. Not to mention the infamous curse of Tutankhamun.

King Tutankhamun was first called Tutankhaten, but later changed his name two years after he became king.  No one knows for sure exactly when he was born and when did he died. In fact, no one knows who his parents really are! This is because Egyptian Kings often marry their sisters, their own daughters, and even their granddaughters!

King Tut was born during the New Kingdom period, which is a time of great prosperity in Egypt. It is generally believed that his parents were King Akhenaten and Kiya, one of his wives. Among King Akhenaten's other wives was Queen Nefertiti, world famous for her magnificent portrait sculpture. Akhenaten and Nefertiti had six daughters, and one of them would eventually marry King Tut!

During the time when he was born, his father had caused a religious upheaval. Akhenaten had forced Egypt to change their age-old polytheism ways to worship only one God-- Aten. He became so obsessed with his religious and political revolution till he neglected his responsibilities as a king. A lot of people were unhappy with King Tut's father and thus were plotting against him, which probably led to King Tut's early death.

In 1336 BC, his father, King Akenathen, died. When this happened, his successor was a mysterious individual known as Ankhkheprure Smenkhkare Djeserkheperu  (also known as Nobby). Some people think that Nobby is Akhenaten's brother, and some think that he is Tutankhamun's brother. It is even believed that Nobby is actually Queen Nefertiti disguised as a man! However, he died a couple of years later and King Tut became the King of Egypt at the age of nine.

At such a tender age, King Tut had received the guidance from his advisers. And of course, these people quite naturally took advantage by exploiting his immaturity and lack of experience. For instance, polytheism was restored and they had arranged everything else to be like what it was before (plus making themselves more powerful). Shortly before turning 19, King Tut realised that he will soon have total power over Egypt. He wanted to change many things that were happening, because he gradually suspected that his advisers (which includes his uncle, Aye) were taking advantage of him for their own benefit and were making decisions which were not to his liking . In fact, it seemed as if he wanted to bring back his father's 'heretic' decision of a one-god worship.

Coincidentally, he died when his 19th birthday was near.

His death was by no means the end of his story. His wife, Ankhesenamun, must have been devastated by his early death. Tut had no royal children to carry on the family reign. Now, 60 year old Aye would soon become king of Egypt (he is culpable of Tut's murder, if this is homicide).

Uncle Aye

Ankhesenamun:wife and sister
Aye was already a top official at the court of Tut's dad, Akhenaten. His wife, Tey, was the wet nurse of Queen Nefertiti (one of Ankhenaten's top wife). Some people even think that Aye is actually Nefertiti's father! If that was the case, that would make him the grandfather of Tut's wife, Ankhesenamun (she is the daughter of Nefertiti). Note that Tutankhamun married his 15 year-old step sister at the age of nine.

And now. Aye wanted to marry his granddaughter, the widow of Tutankhamun.

Knowing his intentions, the terrified Ankhesenamun sent a letter to a Hitite King with the intention of marrying one of his sons. She might have feared that Aye was the murderer of her late husband. After reading the letter, the King had sent one of his sons to marry Ankhesenamun. However, soon after his youngest son reached Egypt, the prince and all of his companions were murdered! Aye then married Ankhesenamun and he became king. Not long aftet this, Ankhesenamun disappeared. Now that Aye was king, he might've killed her too. There is no reference to Ankhesenamun in Aye's tomb, only of his other wife Tey. 

Unlike a lot of Egyptian Pharaohs, hardly anything is actually known about the significant events that took place in King Tut's life. Despite being full to bursting with treasures, his tomb hardly contained any information about him. As we know, he died around the age of 19. Whether he was murdered, died from a broken leg, or became a victim of a plague that more often than not struck Egypt, no one is sure.

1 comment:

  1. Pharaoh Tutankhamun was not really a strong man (virtual reconstruction PHOTO) invenitmundo.blogspot.com


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