Tutankhamun's Tomb (KV62) is one of the most famous monuments in the world as Tutankhamun, the pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, was buried there. Tutankhamun, also sometimes called Tutankhamen, ruled Ancient Egypt from 1333 to 1323 B.C.E. His tomb was discovered by Howard Carter and George Carnarvon in November 1922.
Tutankhamun - who was he?
3,400 years ago Amenhotep, the second son of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, later known as Pharaoh Akhenaten, abandoned his ancestral name and religion and he left the then capital of Egypt - Thebes (today's Luxor). He built the new city of Akhetaten, today called Amarna. This city was to be the capital of his new state and the main center of his new religion. Akhenaten and his wife Teye erected a great temple there dedicated to Aten - the sun god.
After Akhenaten's death, his 10-year-old son Tutankhamun became ruler of Egypt. He reverted to traditional Egyptian polytheism. At the age of 12, he had to marry Princess Anchesenaton, his half-sister and he then moved the capital of Egypt to Memphis. Initially his name was Tutankhaten, but in the fourth year of his reign he changed it to Tutankhamun. His wife Anchesenaton changed her name to Anchesenamon.
Genetic studies of the mummy showed that Tutankhamun suffered from malaria and osteitis. He also had a complicated leg fracture. These factors led to the death of the Egyptian ruler at a young age. Tutankhamun was 19 years old at the time of his death.
Tutankhamun's tomb - where is it?
The discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb was one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the early 20th century. In the Egyptian Valley of the Kings, located near the Egyptian city of Luxor, excavations were carried out from the end of the 18th century. However, most of the tombs there had already been robbed. Carter and Carnarvon were licensed to excavate this site in 1914. Archaeologists decided to remove the long-known remains of ancient barracks for workers employed in the construction of the tombs and dig under them.
In 1922, they found stone stairs and doors. On November 26, they opened the chamber of Tutankhamun's tomb and the research went on for years. George Carnarvon, one of the explorers, died on April 6, 1923.
The explorers were impressed by the furnishings of Tutankhamun's tomb and they found in it, three beds, a statue and a throne, among other things . All these objects were made of pure gold. The finds also included four gilded chariots, grave chests, three pharaoh-shaped coffins tucked into each other, and a golden death mask.
The most valuable find was the well-preserved mummy of Tutankhamun and research into the mummy began in 1925. The mummy was buried in a sarcophagus made of quartzite, but its cover was granite. According to scientists, the sarcophagus was originally intended for another person, but after Tutankhamun's death, the carvings were changed. In total, over 5,000 objects were found in Tutankhamun's tomb.
Mask of Tutankhamun
Among the valuable relics found in Tutankhamun's tomb is the golden mask of the pharaoh, which was on the face of the mummy. It weighs 10 kg and is 54 cm in length. Tutankhamun's mask was richly decorated with stained glass, faience, quartz, carnelian, obsidian, and lapis lazuli. On the arms of the mask there are hieroglyphs with a spell from the Egyptian "Book of the Dead". The mask is now on show in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Curse of Tutankhamun
The death of archaeologist George Carnarvon gave rise to rumors of Tutankhamen's curse. The explorer died as a result of an infection of a wound on his cheek that had formed a few months earlier after a mosquito bite. The novelist Marie Corelli published an article in several newspapers where she stated that she had found an ancient Arabic text saying that intruders disturbing the peace of the dead pharaohs would die due to poisoning by poisons placed in the tombs.
In the eight years after the discovery of the tomb, about 20 people were associated with Tutankhamen's curse. There were speculations that it might be a conspiracy or the effect of bacteria hidden in the tomb. However, Howard Carter announced that Tutankhamun's tomb did not contain any dangerous bacteria and there was no inscription with the curse above the entrance to the tomb.
Scientific research shows that the members of the team that discovered Tutankhamun's tomb lived to an average age of 70 years and Howard Carter died 17 years after opening the burial chamber.
On each of our Egypt tours while visiting the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, for a small additional fee, it is possible to visit the tomb of Tutankhamun. Don't miss this attraction and book your luxury Egypt tour with us today.