Stuart Cheese, may be the UK Director of Operations for One World Tours but his partner's love of Tutankhamun was what got him into the business in the first place. Let us see how much he has picked up from her and see how much can be understood about the young king, Known to the world for his stunning death mask. Well who Tutankhamun is, is still one of the biggest enigmas of all times. According to an inscription found at the temple of Soleb on a red granite lion, Amenhotep III is supposedly his father. This seems unlikely however, as Akhenaten, Tut's predecessor reigned for roughly 16 years and Tutankhamun was approximately 9 years old when he became king.
It is believed by some that Amenhotep III is more likely to be his grandfather and that Akhenaten was his father. This however brings up another question as Nefertiti, Akhenaten's chief wife, was always depicted in the paintings to be accompanied by daughters and never a son. This has also led to the speculation that his mother must have been another queen in the court, the most prominent one being a lady called Kiya. There appears to be evidence that she was married to Akhenaten as one of her titles. "Greatly beloved wife" testifies. We do not know Tutankhamun's exact place in the sequence of king's as his name was omitted from the classic king's list of Abydos and Karnak.
The items that were found in his tomb are relics that date back to his life at the Aten court. We do know for sure that Tutankhamun was young when he died and evidence to this shows on some clay seals on wine jars that were laid in his tomb. These seals recorded the vineyard, type of the wine and also the name of the chief vinter. It also records the year in which the king reigned. The latest date recorded on these seals was year 9 which suggests that this was the year that he died. Tutankhamun's mummy gave no clues as to how he met his death.
It was believed that he died of consumption but there is no evidence of this. In their endeavour to uncover the mystery of how the young king did die experts have undertaken autopsies and taken x-rays which have located a tiny sliver of bone in his skull. This has caused some to believe that Tutankhamun may have been deliberately struck meaning that he may have been a murder victim or that he may have suffered a fatal accident. To this date there is no hard evidence to prove either. Everything I have written so far tells us nothing factual about the most famous young king. All that we really know is that Howard Carter discovered his burial tomb in 1922 and the contents of that burial chamber have immortalised King Tutankhamun and made him an enigma to the rest of the world.
The Ancient Egyptians went to an enormous amount of effort to make sure that the young man was well prepared for the next life and although he is not here with us physically in the twenty first century, he is most certainly very present in all of our lives. Everyone knows who is even though we know very little about him and it would appear that he has certainly achieved immortality.
Stuart Cheese is the UK Director of Operations for One World Tours and, having visited over 110 countries, has a wealth of travel experience. One World Tours / The Holidays in Egypt Specialists