Known as the Golden Boy because of his golden tomb and golden mask protecting his face was found when British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. King Tut was never a really powerful pharaoh or an important one either but because of his elaborate belongings, riches, and the fact that his tomb was untouched and complete was what made this young king so popular and famous.
King Tut became a pharaoh at the tender age of 10 in 1333 BC and only ruled for 9 years. Historians have suggested that he was not a very powerful ruler, so was he just a boy king or was he a warrior?
Recent CT scanning of his mummy suggests that he was no boy at the time of his death but was a grown man according to the standards of his time, which shows he was approximately 20 years old. New evidence of King Tut’s reign has emerged that shows he was much more active than was first thought, and may have led military campaigns against the Syrians and Nubians before his death.
Many people who are familiar with Egyptian history will know that King Tut’s father was Akhenaten, the pharaoh who was obsessed by the sun God Aten. Discovery of blocks called talatat found in Luxor Temple that were used by Akhenaten’s period were reused by Tutankhamun! This proves that Tutankhamun himself, and not his successors began reversing his father’s religious changes on a very large-scale, and even demolished his temples.
The historical implications are profound. Contemporary reliefs in the private tomb of Horembeb preserve scenes showing Syrian and Nubian prisoners being brought before Tutankhamun, as well as military camp scenes. These grisly details suggest that they were observed and recorded on the battlefield during the real campaigns. Egyptian art stressed truthfulness and King Tut’s presence in these scenes indicates his participation in these campaigns.
A recent re-examination of King Tut’s body shows he was very frail and had a broken leg before his death. In Wednesday’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Zahi Hawass, of Cairo’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, and his colleagues published their findings based on DNA tests and CT scans of 16 mummies, including of Tutankhamun and his relatives.
“A sudden leg fracture possibly introduced by a fall might have resulted in a life-threatening condition when a malaria infection occurred,” concluded the article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “Tutankhamun had multiple disorders. He might be envisioned as a young but frail king who needed canes to walk.” (CBC)
It is clear though from depictions on the walls of several tombs that King Tut was more active than has been assumed and is also possible that this cost him his life.