In an incredible twist on an ancient story, Tutankhamun had his revenge from the grave.
The powers that be in the time of Tutankhamun's reign changed his name to suit there own religious ideals, had him marry and attempt to produce offspring with his sister, then erased his name from historical records.
As he lay forgotten in a tomb fit for someone far more common than a king, he waited for his day to come. The day when the modern world discovered him and he became the most famous of all Pharaohs.
* Time of rule - 18th Dynasty (1333 BC – 1322 BC)
* Length of rule - 10 years
* Father - Not known (suspect Akhenaten)
* Mother - Not known (suspect Akhenaten's minor wife Kiya)
* Successor - Ay (his prime minister)
Ramesses the second went all out to be remembered by creating more sculptures in his image and more spectacular buildings and monuments in his name than any other pharaoh. And yes, sure, it worked. But he has been out-famed by a boy who most likely never went to war. A boy who no one talked about after he died. A boy who never built a single structure in his name.
So what did Tutankhamun do when he was alive?
The answer to that is: not much. He was crowned King of Egypt at age nine, but was merely a figurehead for an army general and a prime minister.
It is doubtful that he ever saw battle and he certainly didn't commission great statues bearing his image or towering monuments to inspire awe in his people.
The leaders lurking in the shadows wanted to steer Egypt's religious beliefs back to its traditional state. So the boy who was born Tutankhaten (aten represented the beliefs of his heretical father) was encouraged to change his name to end in amun which represented the original sun god.
This fact alone is a pivotal point in Egyptian history. Egypt may have become a one-god culture if Akhenaten had more support and a successor that continued in his direction. A boy pharaoh with no say, or no idea, eliminated that possibility.
The boy married his sister, encouraging a strong family link to the throne and a safeguard against attempts by jealous outsiders to usurp it. They failed to produce a male heir and the remains of two suspected miscarriages were found in the same tomb as Tut.
At the age of Eighteen or Nineteen (according to dental identification) the young king died.
For many years after the discovery of his tomb, murder theories abounded. Was he slain by a confidant to be eliminated from power?
That theory has now become less popular as the Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr. Zahi Hawass, performed CT scans to show a broken leg. It was then determined that a resulting gangrene was the most likely cause of death.
In any case, his successor, Ay, did not waste any time in rubbing out the Tutankhamun's legacy. It seems that he was forgotten, judging by what was recorded at the time, and his eventual tomb (his own tomb was still incomplete) was a makeshift one probably meant for Ay himself.
Life after death.
In 1922, Howard Carter, discovered the tomb named KV62. Its treasures, the now famous death mask, hieroglyphics and the mummified remains of Tutankhamun brought the ancient world into the lime light.
The preserved condition of the tomb gave experts more to work with and they managed to tie the pieces together to learn more about this adolescent ruler.
The story of a curse afflicting those who entered the Kings tomb, murder theories based around the condition of his skull, and his young age, made the forgotten Pharaoh famous.
In more recent times it was discovered that boy King was deteriorating. The humidity resulting from the volume of visitors to his tomb is being blamed. His remains are protected now by a climate controlled glass box.
Long live King Tut.
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