King Tutankhamun (King Tut) was the young Pharaoh who succeeded his father Akhenaten towards the end of the 18th Dynasty. During his short 9 year rule he restored Thebes (Luxor) as the Capital of Egypt and started the return of worship of Amon. Little was known of the King other that he came to a sudden end.

Egyptologists were not interested in finding his tomb as they assumed it would have poor content. At the time it was determined that that Valley of Kings had yielded all its’ tombs. Lord Carnarvon a wealthy Englishman thought differently and was convinced that there was an intact tomb.
Howard Carter, headed up Lord Carnarvon’s Team and worked dedicatedly for six seasons. Approximately 200,000 tons of rubble were moved, and Howard Carter was forced to accept that there were no more tombs to be found in the Valley of the Kings. There was one last remote possibility, the site immediately beneath the tomb of Ramses VI. It was covered with workmen’s huts and Carter had his men remove them.
In 1922 a doorway of a tomb was found at the bottom of some steps. The seals appeared to be intact and Lord Carnarvon was informed while preparations were made to open the tomb. When they entered the tomb it far exceeded their wildest dreams.

We can only imagine the awe and amazement on finding the treasures now found in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Lord Carnarvon attended the opening but never lived to see the full contents of the tomb. The death of Lord Carnarvon was attributed to 'The Pharaoh's curse - a sting from a mosquito.
The tomb was small but packed with furniture, statutes, jewelry and a wealth of treasures that where meant to be used by the King in his after life. Carter spent 10 years cataloging the contents and recorded 171 objects in the first room alone. When he made a small opening in the door of the tomb chamber, there appeared to be a solid wall of gold. It was an enormous gold gilded shrine with 3 other shrines layered inside. In the center was a stone sarcophagus and three mummy coffins. The one holding King Tut’s remains was solid gold and weighed 2,488.8 Ibs.
The mummy itself was covered in gold objects, bracelets, chains, collars, gold beads and necklets of precious and semi-precious stones, engraved scarabs and garlands of flowers. A solid gold mask covered the head. Only the inner mummy case, which contained the actual mummy of the Pharaoh has been left in the tomb itself. The rest of the treasures are now displayed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

The tomb is the smallest found in the Valley of the Kings the first chamber measuring 8 x 4 meters with bare walls. The small second annex contained containers for oils, baskets of fruit and seeds, wine jars and pottery, all decorated in alabaster, ebony, turquoise, gold, lapis-lazuli and Ivory. The walls in this chamber were also bare.

The burial chamber itself is the only one with decorated walls. The paintings of religious scenes and inscriptions are in excellent condition retaining the vivid colors of the days they were painted. There are full-length figures on three of the walls beneath a dark colored roof which represents the sky. The figures appear top heavy which is characteristic of the Amarna period. Another wall has representations from the Book of the Dead. 

Why were there so many treasures in the young King’s Tomb and why did it appear that they were in total disorder rather than placed in a tidy pattern? This can be readily explained. Tutankhamun was the last of his family line and his tomb was filled with family treasures as well as his own. Many of the pieces were taken from the royal Temples of Tel El Amarna. For example the priceless royal throne on display in the Egyptian Museum shows King Tut being anointed by his wife with a background of the Sun God Aten, the symbol of his father Akhenaten’s heresy. Tutankhamun completely renounced his father’s teachings but carried the symbols to his grave with the artifacts left in his tomb.

Many of the glazed vases and sceptres clearly belonged to his father’s reign. Some of the funerary objects were proved to have been made for Semnekh-Ka-Ra, Akhenaten’s son-in-law and co-regent. This included one of the larger shrines, some of the mummy ornaments and the miniature canopic coffins.

This is a sign that the tomb was used in a hurry as a result of the King’s sudden death at a young age. It is clear the there was no time to finish the tomb. It is unlikely if it will ever be known exactly if the King died by accident or was murdered. It appears from forensics carried out that he likely died from a blow to the head.

If it is proven that the young Pharaoh was murdered, it raises another question as to who was guilty? Was it his tutor Eye, who probably married his wife after his death. Or was it General Haremhab (Horemheb) who wanted the throne and seized it from the blue-bloods at the beginning of the 19th Dynasty? We will likely never know.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Avril Betts, I am originally from England and now a Canadian Citizen, I have over 25 years experience in all aspects of Travel and Tourism, including running an online agency for over 13 years. I hold a CHA (Certified Hotel Administrator) an internationally recognized accreditation and in 1996 hosted the president's wives luncheon for the G7 conference.

I have co-chaired Atlantic Canada Showcase an International Travel Trade Show, managed 450 volunteers for the Tall Ships Visit in July 2000, and was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. In 1988 I founded the Country Inn Association in Nova Scotia still going strong today. I have been involved in numerous Travel and Tourism volunteer activities throughout Atlantic Canada and across Canada.

As an experienced speaker I have spoken and presented seminars to large and small audiences for many years on subjects ranging from Marketing and Sales and Life Skills to Tourism, Travel and Real Estate, and operating an online Travel business.

As a recognized tourism expert I am accustomed to working with tourists and passing on my knowledge of the various destinations to help them make the most of their vacations.

Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or travel inquiries.

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