Who Was King Tut?

by Roberta Edwards

King Tut and his Childhood

King Tutankhamum (King Tut for short) was born in 1343 B.C. and he was a famous pharaoh. He was not important or a powerful ruler. He was a pharaoh for about 9 years. King Tut died at about 18 or 19 years old.

King Tut was a child of a king, so he had servants that bathed and dressed him. The servants shaved his head, but left a braid of hair at the side of his head, as this was the hairstyle for the prince. Crocodiles lived in the Nile River where he went swimming, so the guards had to keep a close watch on him when he was swimming. When he got older, he was allowed to ride his own chariot drawn by 2 horses. King Tut also went hunting with his bow and arrow. It is not known if he liked to play music, but trumpets were found in his tomb.

King Tut and his Material Things

King Tut had clothing that was simple. His jewelry was not simple. He wore heavy gold bracelets and rings. Some necklaces of beads and gold were so large that they covered his chest. His wife wore lots of beautiful and heavy jewelry, too.

King Tut and Education

Ancient Egypt was the first place to develop a written language. Boys learned to read and write starting at age 4. It is thought that King Tut did know how to read and write because there were writing materials put inside his tomb. King Tut had a scribe. A Scribe's job was to write down all the pharaoh's order and letters for him. Egyptians didn't have pens or pencils. They took a reed and chewed the end of it and used black ink made from charcoal and soot. The reed had to be dipped into a bowl of water before rubbing it on the ink.

King Tut's Rule

King Tut's true power was in his chief minister and one of his army generals. King Tut was only ruler by name. It is said that King Tut may have been a great ruler if he had lived past his teen years. During King Tut's father's rule, there were many changes that the people did not like. So his chief minister got Egypt back on track with their earlier customs. King Tut may have had children with his wife, but this is not known for sure. His tomb had 2 tiny caskets that had remains of 2 girls and these were thought to be his children. King Tut did not leave behind a son to become pharaoh after his death.

It is thought by historians that there was foul play in the death of King Tut. Some historians believe that he was killed by either his chief adviser or an army general. They both became pharaoh after the passing of King Tut by marrying into the royal family.

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King Tut's Death

Many historians thought that King Tut died from being hit in the head. Researchers completed many CAT scans of his 3 thousand-year-old body and found that he had not died from being hit in the head. He did have damage to his head, but it wasn't when he was alive. He may have died from being poisoned, but the test results would not show anything. Scientists did find that he had a broken leg and an infection from the broken leg may have killed him.
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King Tut -- Afterlife

King Tut probably didn't know he would die so young, but he started planning his tomb before he died. Ancient Egyptians believed in afterlife. Life after death was just like living on Earth, but much better. Ancient Egyptians believed in the Land of the Dead. It was not an easy road to get to so there were magic spells hat helped each person. The book of magic was called The Book of the Dead.

There was a test that each person, including a pharaoh, had to take after death. There was a scale and on each end of the scale would be the dead person's heart and a feather on the other end. If the person had led a good life, then the feather would have been heavier than the heart and the person would move on to the Land of the Dead. In the Land of the Dead, the person's spirit would continue to enjoy all the same pleasures as before, like eating, drinking, hunting, and playing games.

The tombs were not just a resting place for the dead like a grave. It is a place for the person's belongings and all they would need in the afterlife that were special to them. Royal tombs had many rooms that were filled with treasures. King Tut's tomb was small for a pharaoh. It only had 4 rooms and that is because it was meant for someone else. King Tut died before his tomb was completed, and there was no other place for him to buried so they buried him in the small tomb.