- NAME: King Tut
- OCCUPATION: King
- BIRTH DATE: c. 1341 BCE
- DEATH DATE: c. 1323 BCE
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Egypt
- PLACE OF DEATH: Egypt
- Originally: Tutankhaten
- AKA: Tutankhamen
- AKA: Tutankhamun
- AKA: King Tut
- AKA: The Boy King of Egypt
- AKA: The Boy King
- AKA: The Boy Pharaoh
- AKA: Boy Pharaoh Tutankhamun
Best Known For
King Tut is chiefly known for his intact tomb, discovered in Egypt's Valley of the Kings in 1922. Since then, his remains have held millions in awe over the mystery of his life and death.
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Born circa 1341 B.C.E., King Tut was the 12th king of the 18th Egyptian dynasty, in power from 1361 B.C.E. to 1352 B.C.E. During his reign, powerful advisers restored the traditional Egyptian religion which had been set aside by his predecessor Akhenaton, who had led the "Amarna Revolution." After his death at age 18, he disappeared from history until the discovery of his tomb in 1922. Since then, studies of his tomb and remains have revealed much information about his life and times.
Probably one of the best known pharaohs of ancient Egypt, Tutankhamun was a minor figure in ancient Egyptian history. The boy king of 18th Egyptian dynasty was the son of the powerful Akhenaten, also known as Amenhotep IV, and most likely one of Akhenaten's sisters. His short reign of eight to nine years accomplished little, but the discovery of his nearly intact tomb in 1922 has led many to unravel the mysteries to his life and death.
Tutankhamun was born circa 1341 B.C.E. and given the name Tutankhaten, meaning "the living image of Aten." At this time, ancient Egypt was going through great social and political upheaval. Tutankhaten's father had forbidden the worship of many gods in favor of worshiping one, Aten, the sun disc. For this, he is known as the "heretic king." Historians differ on how extensive the change from polytheism to monotheism was, or whether Akhenaten was only attempting to elevate Aten above the other gods. It does seem, however, that his intent was to reduce the power of the priests and shift the traditional temple-based economy to a new regime run by local government administrators and military commanders.
As the populace was forced to honor Aten, the religious conversion threw ancient Egyptian society into chaos. The capital of Thebes was moved to the new capital of Armana. Akhenaten put all of his efforts into the religious transition, neglecting domestic and foreign affairs. As the power struggle between old and new intensified, Akhenaten became more autocratic and the regime more corrupt. Following a 17-year reign, he was gone, probably forced to abdicate and died soon after. His 9-year-old son, Tutankhaten, took over around 1332 B.C.E.
The same year that Tutankhaten took power, he married Ankhesenamun, his half sister and the daughter of Ikhanaton and Nefertiti. It is known that the young couple had two daughters, both stillborn. Due to Tutankhaten's young age when he assumed power, the first years of his reign were probably controlled by an elder known as Ay, who bore the title of Vizier. Ay was assisted by Horemheb, ancient Egypt's top military commander at the time. Both men reversed Akhenaten's decree to worship Aten, in favor of the traditional polytheistic beliefs. Tutankhaten changed his name to Tutankhamun, which means "the living image of Amun," and had the royal court moved back to Thebes.
Foreign policy had also been neglected during Akhenaten's reign, and Tutankhamun sought to restore better relations with ancient Egypt's neighbors.
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