On This Day

Tutankhamun

Pharoah of Egypt Tutankhamun

Profession: Pharoah of Egypt

Nationality:
Egypt
Egyptian

Why Famous: The lost boy king of ancient Egypt, Tutankhamun is ironically now more famous than any other Egyptian pharaoh. The discovery of his largely intact tomb in 1922 by the English archaeologist Howard Carter and his team ensured this.

Tutankhamun ruled for 10 years at the end of the 18th Dynasty reigning 1333–23 BC, coming to the throne at the age of just nine years. During his reign a revolutionary period in Egyptian history was brought to a close. The earlier Pharaoh Akhenaton and possibly Tutankhamun's father, had brought a great change by focusing the national religion on the deity of Aten and building a new capital Amarna. Under Tutankhamen's reign and the influence of his advisers, the capital was moved back to Memphis and the traditional polytheistic religion restored.

Its unknown how Tutankhamun died. It may have been because of a known leg fracture or malaria, discovered in an examination of his mummy. Or his short life could have been the result of the Egyptian royal practice of incest. DNA evidence has suggested Tutankhamun' parents were brother and sister. He himself was married to a daughter of Akhenaton, possibly his half sister.

Tutankhamun was buried in a makeshift tomb in the Valley of the Kings, his mummy placed inside a nest of three coffins, the inner pure gold. On his head was placed his famous portrait mask, now in the Cairo Museum. The later 19th dynasty removed all trace of Tutankahun and the rebellious pharaohs of his period, leaving their rediscovery to archaeologists centuries later.

Birthplace: , Egypt

Historical Events

  • 1922-11-04 Howard Carter discovers tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt
  • 1922-11-26 English archaeologist Howard Carter opens Tutankhamun's virtually intact tomb in Egypt
  • 1923-02-16 Howard Carter opens the inner burial chamber of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb and finds the sarcophagus
  • 2016-01-23 8 museum workers from Egyptian Museum, Cairo referred for prosecution for reattaching Tutankhamun's beard with inappropriate glue
  • 2019-07-04 Egypt claims 3,000-year-old Tutankhamun bust is stolen as it sells for $6 million at auction at Christies

Famous Egyptians