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Inquiry project on all about King Tutankhamen.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:13 am 
Tomb Robber
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Location: Winnipeg, MB
So, my class has started an inquiry project in English. I chose to work on Tutankhamen. Make that all about King tut.
ANYWAY
All I'm pretty much asking for is little notes about him, as in, what was his family tree, is his tomb cursed, was he murdured, stuff like that.
Oh, and just to make sure you guys don't post what I got written down, I'll be posting my notes. (There's not alot, since I started a few days ago.)

-Ruled Egypt over 5000 years ago
-Died a mysterious death
-Supposedly a cursed tomb
-Is the most popular pharoah(That I know of)
-Had over 250 artifacts in his tomb
-People that have been in the tomb of the pharaoh died shortly after because of the writing in the walls that said "Death shall come on swift wings to him that toucheth the tomb of the pharaoh"

Well, that's all I know. So, help please?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:25 pm 
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His family tree is in doubt. Some believe his father was Amenhotep III, others that Akhenaten was has father. His mother was either Queen Tiye, a lesser wife of Amenhotep III, Queen Kiya or even Nefertiti. As you can see, there have been many candidates for his parents!
He was not murdered, as has been popularly believed for some time. The latest CT scan revealed that his had a severe break in his leg and that he probably developed an infection, from which he died.
His tomb was not cursed. There is NO written insription on the wall that state any such thing. The curse was a fabrication by a reporter to sell more papers! The deaths attributed to the "curse", at best, were co-incidences. Over the years, the actual deaths have been vastly inflated to make the subject more mysterious.
Actually, he was one of the lesser known Pharaohs. We haven't much information concerning any outstanding achievements. I think his popularity is more from the finding on his mostly intact tomb than the person.
Good luck on your project. I hope this information helps a bit...


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:52 pm 
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Osiris II did a great job summing things up for you, but I think I'll chime in, too. You want to get your facts straight so let's address them one at a time:

-Ruled Egypt over 5000 years ago

Actually he came to the throne at eight or nine years of age around the year 1334 BCE, in Dynasty 18, so approximately 3,300 years ago. Egypt was just beginning as a dynastic civilization 5,000 years ago.

-Died a mysterious death

Tut did die a somewhat mysterious death, meaning we're still not precisely certain how he died. Osiris II mentioned the fractures to his legs (both of them, actually) and the likely infection that set in, which is now the leading candidate for cause of death. I'd have to agree though I'll be brave enough to admit I used to be a proponent of the "murder" theory back when there was conjecture about that loose bone chip in his skull, which has since been established to have been a perimortem artifact (probably caused by Carter and his team when they were forcing the golden mask off his mummified head). There are still people holding fast to the old murder theory who say his fractured legs resulted from his being pushed out of a chariot. There is of course no evidence that such a thing ever happened.

-Supposedly a cursed tomb

You mentioned the famous old line "Death comes on wings to him who enters the tomb of a Pharaoh." Osiris II reminds us that this line is not written anywhere inside Tut's tomb. Not only that, but this line was not written anywhere in ancient Egypt. After the discovery of the tomb (KV62) there was a worldwide frenzy over everything ancient Egyptian, and it was a "Gothic" horror novelist named Marie Corelli who got this "curse" business started when she wrote a letter to the New York Times in the early months of 1923. She's the one who penned the "Death comes on wings" line, and the media quickly gobbled it up. It snowballed from there, right down to present-day times. There are of course some tombs that contain written curses, but they're quite rare. A real inscription in the entrance to the tomb of the Dynasty 6 official Idu says: As for every man who shall enter this tomb, without purifying himself as the purification if a god, one shall make for him a painful punishment. But there is no such line whatsoever within or around the Dynasty 18 tomb of Tutankhamun.

-Is the most popular pharoah(That I know of)

This is certainly true for most modern people. I often ask on my museum tours who the most famous ancient Egyptian king was, and invariably two or three people say, "Tut!" But as Osiris II mentioned, his fame is mostly due to the completeness of his burial. Up until the time of the discovery of Tut's tomb (1922), no royal tomb had ever been found with nearly so many artifacts. It is certain KV62 was robbed at least twice in antiquity, but not much was ever stolen; in fact, it would appear that in one of the robbery attempts the thieves were caught in the act and the necropolis guards just tossed the stolen articles back into the tomb. So I have to agree with Osiris II: it is the completeness of Tut's tomb that has made him famous today. He never lived long enough in his own time to solidify his power and his name--he died after about ten years on the throne. To me the greatest pharaoh was either Tuthmosis III or Ramesses II; you could argue pro or con a lot in either case, but both these men accomplished great things that Tut never lived long enough to have had the chance to achieve.

-Had over 250 artifacts in his tomb

Quite a bit more than that. There were over 400 statues, statuettes, and shabti alone. There were almost 5,400 artifacts in total found in that little tomb. This web site is an excellent resource for exploring the kinds of things Howard Carter's team found in KV22.

-People that have been in the tomb of the pharaoh died shortly after...

A few people did die untimely deaths, yes, but that's hardly proof of a curse. Much of the mystery surrounds the death of Lord Carnarvon, the man who financed Carter's excavations in the Valley of the Kings. There's actually not much mystery to it. He shaved off a misquito bite and it got infected and he died of either sepsis or pneumonia brought on by the sepsis (I can't recall which). Carnarvon was in poor health to begin with and had been for years, which is why he spent so much time in Egypt--it was thought the dry and arid climate would be kinder to his health than the damp environs of Britain. One of the funny things about the "curse" related to Carnarvon was that the lights in Cairo are said to have gone out at the moment of his death. Come on, this is Cairo of the 1920s, very much a Third World city at the time--the electricity often went off and on and drove tourists nuts.

I hope this is of some help to you, Norena. I won't add anything about the parentage because Osiris II covered that nicely. It's just not well known. Before departing, I'll suggest the Theban Mapping Project web site, where you can find information about Tut's tomb (this web site is one of the best out there for people interested in ancient Egypt):

http://www.thebanmappingproject.com/

And I can recommend a couple of books I enjoyed that you ought to be able to find in your library:

The Complete Tutankhamun: The King, the Tomb, the Royal Treasure, by Nicholas Reeves

Tutankhamen : The Life and Death of the Boy-King, by Christine El Mahdy

Good luck with your class project, Norena. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:12 am 
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Thank you for the information!

(I also forgot to mention that it will take me awhile to reply because my computer at home got shut down, something wrong with the hardrive I think, and only rarely I'll be on at school.)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:04 pm 
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Location: Chicago, IL
You're welcome, Norena. So I guess it's good luck with your project and your computer. :wink:


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