History Embalmed

Reign of King Tut

Background
Tutankhamun was born in 1343BC and he was known by the name of Tutankhatenat this time. The childhood of King Tut started as a stable one, he was the heir to the throne of Egypt and loved by his parents the Pharaoh Akhenaten and his wide Kiya. His parents, and his stepmother Nefertiti had revolutionised the religion adhered to in Ancient Egypt. The religious ideas of his father had radically changed Ancient Egypt from a polytheistic religion, worshipping many gods, to monotheism  which was the worship of one god called the Aten and depicted as the sun disc. Akhenaten had built a new city called Amarna as the centre of worship to the new god. The early childhood and reign of King Tut would have been spent in Armana.

The Early Childhood of King Tutankhamun
His father, Akhenaten, was a totally autocratic ruler. The young prince would have seen the power wielded by his parents, backed by the force of the military. The new Religion and the god Aten was the focus of everyone's lives. Only his father and the royal family were allowed to commune directly with the god. His father was revered as a living deity and held the power in the country, not the priests of Amun from the old religion. Home and Foreign affairs were practically ignored.

The people and the priests resented the new religion which had been forced upon them. Egypt had declined into a chaotic state, governed by the religion obsessed Pharaoh and the corrupt officials who had replaced the traditional priest led economy.

Reign of King Tut - His father is forced to abdicate
The stable childhood of Tut came to an abrupt halt in 1337 BC when he was just 7 years old. His father the Pharaoh Akhenaten was forced to abdicate after a reign of 17 years and soon after died. The chaotic state of the country and the rising opposition to the new religion forced these changes. There is some mystery about the events which followed. In 1336BC a person called Smenkhkare Ankhetkheperure took the throne. There is speculation that Smenkhkare Ankhetkheperure was in fact Nefertiti, Akhenaten's Chief Wife and the mother-in-law and stepmother of Tut. Smenkhkare only reigned for two years and in 1334 BC Tutankhamun became pharaoh.

Reign of King Tut - His marriage to Ankhesenpaaten
As a boy of just nine years old Tutankhamun was not a lot more than a puppet king, relying on the advice of his regent and vizier Ay and the support of the military led by General Horemheb during his reign. In the same year he became pharaoh, 1334BC, Tut married Ankhesenpaaten, his half sister who was also the third daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti and the granddaughter of Ay. Incest was seen as an acceptable element in the lives of the Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, retaining the sacred bloodline. The pharaohs were seen as living deities so it was deemed as perfectly acceptable for them to emulate the incestuous behaviour of the gods.

Reign of King Tut - Tutankhaten changes his name to Tutankhamun
When King Tut was about 12 years old the backlash against the new religion was so intense that the young pharaoh changed his name from Tutankhaten to Tutankhamun. During the same year Ankhesenpaaten changed her name to Ankhesenamun. A year later the royal court moved back to the old capital at Thebes which was the center of worship of the god Amun and the power base of the Amun priests.

Reign of King Tut - The Teenage Years
Solidifying the new rule King Tut commissioned various building works at this time including the restoration of some temple properties at Karnak and Thebes worshipping the old gods. Some of his time was also spent in addressing the external problems of Egypt including battles with the enemies of Egypt. The wars during the reign of King Tut were fought against the Hittites, the Mitanni and the Nubians. The East Delta of the Nile was threatened by Hittite invaders from Palestine and Syria. The Mitanni  mounted invasions from northern Mesopotamia and the Kushite raiders from Nubia and the Sudan also waged war against the Ancient Egyptians during the reign of King Tut. King Tut may have well been a warrior king, fighting in these battles. There are depictions on the tomb of Tutankhamun showing scenes where he is riding a chariot and no less than six chariots were buried with King Tut in his tomb.

Reign of King Tut - His Children
King Tut and his wife Ankhesenpaaten appeared to have had a happy marriage together but the happiness was marred because none of their children survived infancy. The mummies of two daughters of Tutankhamun were buried with him in his tomb.

Reign of King Tut - The Death of Tutankhamun
The actual cause of his death is subject to a great deal of speculation. Did he die of natural causes? Or was he murdered and, if so, who killed King Tut? 

Reign of King Tut
Each section of this King Tut website, including his reign, addresses all topics and provides interesting facts and information about the Golden Age of Pharaohs and of Egypt. The Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts provided about the fascinating subject of the Pharaoh Reign of King Tut - Tutankhamun!

Life of King Tut

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