Tutankhamun | Biography, Tomb, Mummy, Mask, & Facts

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Highlights of Tutankhamun:

Occupation Pharaoh of Egypt
Born 1341 BC
Died 1323 BC
Reign 1332 BC to 1323 BC
Known for His tomb which was found full of Egyptian treasure and artifacts


Growing Up

Around 1341 BC, Tutankhamun was born a prince in the Egyptian royal court. Akhenaten, a Pharaoh, was his father. After his father’s passing, Tutankhamun changed his birth name from Tutankhaten.

Tutankhamun was not born to his father’s primary wife, the powerful Nefertiti, but to one of his father’s lesser women. Due to Nefertiti’s desire to produce a male to succeed her as empress and the fact that she only had girls, his presence may have created some tension in the royal courts.

A Radical Father

Father of Tutankhamun was an extreme religious figure. He transformed Ancient Egypt’s whole religion, limiting worship to the sun deity Aten. He compelled Egyptians to alter their worship practices and abolished a custom that had existed for more than a thousand years. He even constructed Amarna, a new capital city, in praise of the deity Aten.

Pharaoh the Boy

Tutankhamun’s father passed away when the boy was just seven years old. Tutankhamun eventually married his sister, as was customary for Pharaohs in ancient Egypt, and succeeded to the throne. Being so young, he needed assistance in running the nation. Horemheb, a ruthless general, and Ay, Tutankhamun’s vizier, were the actual power brokers.

Governing Egypt

The religious reforms implemented by his father had angered a large portion of Egypt’s population. Together with his advisers, Tutankhamun attempted to undo all the modifications his father had made. Egypt returned to its original gods under Tutankhamun, and the damaged temples were restored. The city of Memphis once again became the seat of government. Even his name, Tutankhamun, which means “the living image of Amun,” was changed from Tutankhaten, “the living image of Aten.”

Death and Burial

Tutankhamun passed away at about the age of 19. What killed him is unknown to archaeologists. Although some people believe he was murdered, his leg wound was more likely the cause of death. According to research, his mummy’s leg was severely diseased and shattered before he passed away. This injury most likely resulted from a mishap.


Today, it is Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings that is most well-known. It’s likely that the young Pharaoh was buried in his tomb, which had been constructed for someone else, when he passed away suddenly. This may have made his tomb more difficult for robbers to find for all these years. Because of this, the tomb was stocked with treasure and artifacts that had never been found in another Pharaoh’s tomb when it was ultimately uncovered by archeologist Howard Carter in 1922.

Tutankhamun Facts You Should Know

His name might also be spelled Tutankhamen or Tutankhamon. Today, he is referred to as King Tut.

He had no living offspring. The vizier Ay succeeded to his reign.

It’s likely that between Tutankhamun and his father Akhenaten, one or two additional pharaohs reigned for a brief period of time. They were Smenkhkare and Neferneferuaten, two Pharaohs.

Tutankhamun was the subject of the humorous song “King Tut” by comedian Steve Martin.

King Tut was a villain in the Batman television series.

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