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KV62: Pharaoh Tutankhamun

King's Valley - The Valleys - The Places

Pharaoh Tutankhaten to Pharaoh Tutankhamun

The enigmatic story of “the boy king”

Pharaoh Tutankhamun and his short reign would not be really known to the World without the discovery of his intact gold shimmering Tomb by Archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922

Born: Approx. 1342 BC, probably in Akhetaten, his father’s new Capital City
Parents: Pharaoh Akhenaten & his sister Kiya, The Younger Lady
Birth Name: Tutankhaten
Consort: Ankhesenpaaten (half-sister)
Reigned: From approx. 1334 – 1325 BC
Reigning Name: Tutankhamun
Consort’s Reigning Name: Ankhesenamun
Throne Name: Nebkheprure
Known for: Moving the Royal Court back to Thebes and Memphis; recommitting to the traditional Deities and restoring what his father’s Aten Followers had attacked
Died: Approx. 1325 BC in Thebes
Successor: In my opinion, his Great Uncle, Ay
Buried: KV62

 

Click on the Image of a Statue Pharaoh Tutankhamun at Karnak Temple – to the right – to learn the answers to these questions:

  1. Why did Pharaoh’s father close the Temples?
  2. Was Pharaoh disabled?
  3. Why did Pharaoh marry his half-sister?
  4. Why did Pharaoh’s father abandon Egypt’s successful Foreign Policy?
  5. Why did Pharaoh change his name?
  6. How did Pharaoh change Egypt’s religion?
  7. Did Pharaoh have any children?
  8. Where did Pharaoh and the Royal Court live?
  9. What is the Restoration Stelae?
  10. What buildings did Pharaoh commission at Karnak Temple?

Statue of Tutankhamun at Karnak Temple

Click on the Image to learn about the life of Pharaoh Tutankhamun

Death

The theories around the death of the Pharaoh have abounded for years as no known record of how he died has been found to date.

The “Murder” Theory

Pharaoh Tutankhamun was murdered by a blow to the back of his head.

This theory is based on a blow to the head due to 2 loose bone fragments seen inside the skull cavity on an x-ray taken in 1968; has now been confirmed as being due to the modern unwrapping of the skull. This has been concluded using newer x-rays and a CT scan which shows that the fragments remain loose. If these had been created as a death impact, the shards would be captured inside the embalming resin.

The Chariot Theory

Pharaoh Tutankhamun was killed in a Chariot accident where he was run over by a Chariot; perhaps proving that he was on a Military Campaign at the time of his death. This was proved by showing that part of the front of his Ribs and Chest Wall are damaged and some are missing. This has now been disproven by photos which were taken by Howard Carter and his Team during the mummy’s excavation which confirm that the Ribs and Chest Wall were present in 1926. An x-ray in 1968 show the missing Ribs and Chest Wall as well as a previously present Beaded Collar. It seems likely that the now missing Beaded Collar was “robbed” and this caused the damages to the Ribs and Chest Wall.

The latest medical information that Historians have gathered is that his body was weakened from the Malaria Infections that he had repeatedly suffered, compounded by a fracture to his left leg. The evidence to support this is that the leg fracture was caused just before death due to its ragged edges with no evidence of healing and that there were Embalming substances found inside the wound tract. Conclusion: this probably triggered circulatory shock which would have been fatal to his weakened immune system.

 

Mummification

It appears as though Pharaoh was not mummified in the usual way. It could be that he died away from his Capital City and was far enough away to require an initial embalming process before he could be returned home. This may not mean that he was on a Military Campaign but could have been travelling around his own country. Whatever occurred, it seems as though the first embalmer was inexperienced as:

  • the initial embalming incision is not in the normal location;
  • his heart is missing – the embalmers provided the Pharaoh with a Scarab inscribed with a Funerary Spell;
  • there was damage caused to his skull and shards broken off in the embalming process, as mentioned in the Murder Theory above;
  • a second embalming was needed to ensure the body’s preservation – this thought has been extrapolated due to the two levels of resin found inside the skull.

 

Above: My image of the Layout of Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s Tomb

Tomb

As the majority of people who have been to the Valley of the Kings are painfully aware, the Tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun is tiny compared to other its other neighbours! This is presumably because Pharaoh was young when he died, only recently come to the Throne, and he never had sufficient time to excavate a full-sized Tomb. This is why many Egyptologists believe that he was not originally destined to be buried here. To see the arguments about this, click here to visit the webpage KV62 versus KV23.

His resting place, Tomb KV62 was robbed twice within about a year of his internment there, meaning that the Tomb was either robbed by the Artisans who had been involved in the excavation and decoration of the Tomb, or by state actioned “robbers”. Luckily for us the Robbers left over 5,000 artefacts in situ for these to be discovered by Howard Carter and his excavation team in 1922.

It is thought by Egyptologists that the Tomb was not further robbed due to its positioning: its entrance was thoroughly buried by debris excavated in the commissioning of later Pharaoh’s Tombs which was then built on top of by Workmen’s Huts for temporary storage and housing whilst they worked in the Valley. To learn more about the Workers and their unique community, click here.

Where is Pharaoh ’s Mortuary Temple?

His grandfather, Pharaoh Amenhotep III, has one. His successors, Pharaoh Ay and Pharaoh Horemheb, had ones. As did nearly every Pharaoh in the next Dynasty. So why didn’t Pharaoh Tutankhamun?

Again, we have to presume that he never had sufficient time to complete his Mortuary Temple. If he did commence the building of a Mortuary Temple which most Pharaoh ordered on their ascension to the Throne, then could it have been unfinished and usurped by his successor Pharaoh Ay? If this is the case, then Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s Mortuary Temple was located next to Medinet Habu, the Mortuary Temple of Pharaoh Ramses III.

It was known as “Menmenu” and is in total ruins. The original layout, when Pharaoh Ay had finished it as his own Temple, had 2 small columned Halls with their side Chambers and 3 Inner Sanctuaries, but these were usurped and added to by Pharaoh Horemheb, Pharaoh Ay’s successor. Pharaoh Horemheb added 3 Pylons with their associated Courts and a small Palace area. Some of these additional areas have survived at the very least as a floor plan.

Life in Amarna

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Restoration of the Deities

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Life after Amarna

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Tut's Queen: Ankhesenamun

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His Family

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KV62 vs KV23

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