Tutankhamen as Khonsu. Isn't he handsome?:)

This page is dedicated to my Prince Charming.  You know who you are, my dear....

The Names of Tutankhamen, Egyptian and English

Heru Ka Nakht Tut-Mesut, Nebty Nefer-hepu Segereh-tawy Sehetep-netjer Nebu, Heru-Nub Wetjes-khau Sehetep-netjeru, Nesu-Bity Nebkheperure, Si-Re, Tutankhamen.

Horus Stong Bull Fitting of Created Forms, He of the Two Ladies Dynamic of Laws who calms the Two Lands and Propriates All the Gods, Golden Horus Who Displays the Regalia, Who Propriates All the Gods, King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of Manifestations of Re, Son of Re, The Living Image of Amun

Tutankhamen's Parentage

Tutankhamen is one of the most famous names from ancient history, so it makes it all the more frustrating how little we actually know about him. Even his origins are sketchy. His original name was Tutankhaten (Tut-ankh-aten: "Living Image of Aten"). He was born in about year 8 or 9 of the reign of Akhenaten, but his parentage is up to debate. There are basically two theories.
Queen Tiye, drawing by author The Amenhotep and Tiye theory
According to this school of thought, Akhenaten and his father, (Nebmaatre) Amenhotep III had a signifacant co-regency, and Tutankhaten was the last child of Amenhotep and his great wife, Tiye. So little Tutankhaten was Akhenaten's much younger brother, and Ankhesenpaaten's uncle. Of course, this only applies if there was a co-regency of any significant length. Well, you say, who are the king's parents if there wasn't such a co-regency? Glad you asked.

Queen Kiya The Akhenaten and Kiya theory
In this scenario, Tutankhaten is the son of Pharaoh Akhenaten and his secondary wife, Queen Kiya. Kiya may have been a Mittanni princess, sent to marry the King of Egypt to seal a peace agreement. During Akhenaten's reign, she was called the "Greatly Beloved Wife" of the king. What could she have done to have to have be elevated to the King's Favorite? Could she have given the Pharaoh a son, when all his Great Wife, Nefertiti , had given him were daughters? If Kiya and Akhenaten were Tutankhaten's parents, he would have been Ankhesenpaaten's half-brother. But brother-sister marriages were the norm in Ancient Egyptian royal families.

Tutankhamen's Reign

But at any rate, the little prince was born to some set of parents, and most likely grew up in Akhet-Aten (Amarna). There is mention of him in the northern part of the city, some think that he lived with Nefertiti in the North Palace. There is mention of him there as "King Tutankhaten" too, his name is found at Amarna inscribed in cartouches, only Pharaohs and Queens had the right to have their names in cartouches. We do know that after Akhenaten and Smenkhkare were dead, the 9 or 10 year old Tutankhaten and Ankhesenpaaten became the Lord and Lady of the Two Lands. His throne name was Nebkheperure, (Neb-kheper-u-re: "Lord of the Manifestations of Re").

Tutankhaten's government was based in Akhet-Aten for the first few years of his 9 year reign. The powers behind the throne seemed to have been Ay, Ankhesenpaaten's grandfather and the young king's grand vizier, and Horemheb, the Commander of the Army. Traditionally, the Pharaoh was the head of the Army, but one cannot really expect a 10-year-old to led troops into battle, so Horemheb was the man in charge of Tutankhaten's military.

Ankhesenamen and Tutankhamen as Mut and Amun? In about year2 or 3, Tutankhaten's court abandoned Akhet-Aten and headed to either Waset (Thebes) or Men-nefer (Memphis). Thebes was the traditional religious capital, while Memphis was the secular one. Most likely, the court traveled between both cities (and many others), as most pharaohs did quite a bit of traveling throughout Egypt. At this point, Tutankhaten and Ankhesenpaaten also changed their names to reflect the restoration of the old gods that was being issued throughout Egypt in young Tutankhamen's name. The royal couple was now known as Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamen. The restoration stelea of Tutankhamen was issued when he was about 12 or 13 years old. It's likely that it was not Tutankhamen's words on the stelae but either the sentiments of Ay or Horemheb. Horemheb later usurped this stelae, and many of Tutankhamen's other inscriptions and monuments. But we can tell what was Tutankhamen's; his youthful features are unique in the sculpture of ancient Egypt, and his statues and likeness are easy to pick out.

At some point during the later part of the nine years, the hopes of a country and hopeful parents-to-be were twice dashed; Ankhesenamen misscaried the only two children she and Tutankhamen had concieved. Tutankhamen had no heir. But both Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamen were young, they had plenty of time to have children. Tutankhamen must have loved Ankhesenamen very much, she was his only wife. Most pharoahs had many wives and large harems, but not Tutankhamen. He also gave her beautiful titles: "Sweet of Love", "Mistress of Love", "The One Who Pacifies the God With Her Voice" and "The Aten Rises to Give Her Praise, He Sets to Repeat Her Love" to name a few of them.

The Death of Tutankhamen

Like his parentage, Tutankhamen's death is another of one of the most debated topics in Egyptology today. Tutankhamen was only 18 or 19 when he died, based on the age given after an examination of the mummy, and the length of his reign. Did he die of natural causes? Disease perhaps? An infection? Was he wounded in battle? Or was there foul play? Could the boy-king have been murdered?

He didn't die of turburculious as some once thought, this has been proven from studies done on the mummy. Also, one doctor (please forgive the lack of refrences, the author is writting this off the top of her head) said that he found no evidence of disease, so how could he have died?

Wounded in battle, perhaps? This is a possiblity, as there maybe be some evidence on the mummy, of a wound. But was the wound accidental? Some have proposed that a strange thickness seen at the back on an x-ray of Tutankhamen's skull indicated a calcified hemorage caused by a blow to the head. The strange part is that this deposit is located at the back of the head, near the base of the skull. If this was caused by a blow to the head, it would have to have been done when Tutankhamen was sleeping. But of course, we don't know what happened 3,300 years ago, we can only guess at the circumstances of Tutankhamen's death.

'Living Image of Amun' a painting of Tutankhamen's golden mask Tutankhamen's Tomb

This is what "King Tut" is famous for. His intact tomb was discovered in November of 1922 by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon. Tutankhamen was lavishly buried, perhaps in part to the fact that it was in his name that the old gods of Egypt were restored. The majority of Tutankhamen's burial goods are now housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Thankfully, however, Carter had the decency to have it arranged that Tutankhamen still rests in his sarcophagus and largest of his three coffins in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings. He is the only pharaoh that we know of that is still there.

Back to Family
Site hosted by Build your free website today!