Tutankhamun: Egypt’s Most Famous Pharaoh
In 1922 Howard Carter uncovered what is still regarded as the most spectacular archaeological discovery ever made. Tutankhamun’s tomb had remained hidden in the Valley of the Kings for more than 3000 years and its discovery caused a media sensation, elevating the previously little-known Egyptian Pharaoh into the position of an international celebrity. The contents of the tomb were found almost entirely intact, including the Pharaoh’s mummified body, still wearing its solid gold funeral mask.
Tutankhamun lived in an era when the Egyptian Empire, centred on the royal city of Thebes, was at its pinnacle and when the wealth and power of its Pharaoh was at its greatest. This was also a period of enormous religious upheaval. Akenaten, the heretical Pharaoh and, more than likely, Tutanhkamun’s father, had introduced a new religion, exclusively worshipping the sun god Aten. Under Tutanhkamun, the old religion, with its many gods and goddesses, was restored, putting an end to the heresy.
In recent years research has shed new light on Tutankhamun’s life and, in particular, on his death. Public interest in the boy king is as strong as ever and our knowledge of the sophisticated and complex society over which he reigned continues to grow.