The most famous Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun

The most famous Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun

Tutankhamun, the 11th pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Ancient Egypt, was unremarkable, is famous due to the discovery of his completely intact tomb by the British archaeologist Howard Carter in

Tutankhamun's mummy revealed that he was about 17 when he died and was likely to have inherited the throne at the age of eight or nine. He is thought to have been the son of Akhenaten, commonly known as the 'heretic king'. Akhenaten replaced the traditional cult of 'Amun' with his solar deity 'Aten', thus asserting his authority as pharaoh in a new way.

According to the most important document of Tutankhamun's reign, the Restoration Stele, his father's supposed reforms left the country in a bad state. Consequently the traditional gods, seeing their temples in ruins and their cults abolished, had abandoned Egypt to chaos. When Tutankhamun came to the throne, his administration restored the old religion and moved the capital from Akhetaten back to its traditional home at Memphis. He changed his name from Tutankhaten - 'living image of Aten the sun god - to Tutankhamun, in honour of Amun. His queen, Ankhesenpaaten, the third daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, also changed the name on her throne to read Ankhesenamun.

Although the reign of Tutankhamun is often thought to have little historical importance, his monuments tell a different story. He began repairing the damage inflicted upon the temples of Amun during Akhenaten's iconoclastic reign. He constructed his tomb in the Valley_of_the_Kings, near that of Amenophis III, and one colossal statue still survives of the mortuary temple he began to build at Medinet Habu. He also continued construction at the temple of Karnak and finished the second of a pair of red granite lions at Soleb.

Uncertainty still surrounds his death. He may have been assassinated, or died as the result of an injury received while hunting.

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