by: Claire Ray


Tutankhamen (reigned 1361-1352 BC), was the twelfth King of the Eighteenth Egyptian Dynasty, he became the most famous of the Pharaohs when his treasure-filled tomb was discovered in the 20th century.


Despite the existence of conventional representations of the Pharaoh slaying his foes, it is doubtful that Tutankhamen engaged in any serious military operations. There is some indication that the actual power behind the throne was an elderly official named Ay, who is depicted on a fragment of gold leaf with Tutankhamen. On another fragment Ay bears the title of vizier. He had already posed as a coregent before the death of Tutankhamen; and as regent Ay is represented undertaking his obsequies on the walls of the young pharaoh's burial chamber.

Tutankhamen is probably the best-known of the pharaohs owing to the fortunate discovery of his treasure-filled tomb virtually intact. His burial place in the Valley of the Kings had escaped the fate of the tombs of his predecessors. The entrance was hidden from plunderers by debris heaped over it during the cutting of the later tomb of Ramses VI. It wasn't discovered until 1922.

Though scientists performed x-rays on Tutankhamen's remains in the 1960s, the pictures were inconclusive. In 2005, nine doctors removed Tutankhamen from his coffin and performed a CAT scan that resulted in extremely detailed images. The archeologists learned that the young pharaoh had not been murdered by a blow to the back of the head, as many enthusiasts had assumed he had been since the initial discovery in the 1920s. The results of the tests showed that at the time of his death, Tutankhamen was in perfect health--sans a break in his leg above the knee. His chest cavity was also missing a few bones. Scientists speculated that Tutankhamen's death may have been the result of an infection that spread when the teen broke his leg, or perhaps he was crushed in battle or by a chariot. The pharaoh's death remains a mystery, as these bones may have broken or been displaced when the remains were discovered and moved nearly a century ago.


1361-1352 BC


Ancient Egypt


Tutankhamen is important to history because he was one of the first pharaohs to be discovered almost fully intact and with all his loot. He was also the youngest pharaohs to rule Egypt, dying at 18 years old.