King Tut is known as the “Boy King” because of how young he was when he took over the Egyptian empire. Becoming ruler at the age of 9 at the latest, his life could be best described as a candle that burned brightly. Dead before the age of 20, he was a forgotten ruler throughout much of time. When his tomb was discovered and the contents displayed in museums around the world, however, the name of King Tut would become synonymous with modern images that people have of Egypt. Here are some interesting facts to consider about this man who lived thousands of years ago.
1. His Family Believed Rules Should Be Broken
King Tut’s father was not someone who believed that rules should be followed just because they were rulers. If something didn’t make sense, then his family just made up new rules. To that extent, the family moved the capital of Egypt away from Thebes to a brand new city that would be built by the cult that saw Pharaoh as a leader to be honored instead of a god to be worshiped. Many in Egypt at the time were worshiping multiple gods, including Pharaoh, but not King Tut’s family. They believed in just one god, the sun god, and that was a radical idea indeed.
2. It Was All In the Family At the Time
King Tut’s mother died early on in life. His father married again, the famous Queen Nefertiti, who also happened to be his cousin. It didn’t just stop there because King Tut would wind up marrying his half-sister, which would make his stepmother also become his mother-in-law. If that’s confusing, keep in mind that the Egyptian ruling families would often intermarry to keep the bloodlines pure, so there’s a good chance that someone in there was also their own grandfather. It takes keeping it in the family to whole new levels.
3. King Tut’s Family Was Removed From Memory
The reason why King Tut wasn’t remembered by much of history was because there was a concerted effort to remove all vestiges of his family from Egypt’s history. Their focus on a solitary god was seen to be blasphemous, so Tut’s successor stopped the singular god notion and restored Egyptian society to the way it had been. The capital was moved from the new city back to Thebes, all of the old rules were restored, and many of the statues and monuments that had been created over the years to honor the family were desecrated.
4. Modern Medicine Couldn’t Save Him
The Egyptians were known for a remarkable level of medical science, considering how far back in history the empire happens to be in antiquity. Not only were there dentists that would fill in cavities, there is evidence that splints were used to support broken legs. It’s a broken leg, in fact, combined with a potential dental problem that is thought to be what ended up stopping the reign of the Boy King. The break seems to have become infected and a systemic infection could have easily caused his death. Modern medicine might have been impressive considering the technology at the time, but it wasn’t good enough.
5. He Was Stronger Than People Think
Many believe that King Tut was a weak, sick boy that was lucky to ascend to the throne of Pharoah. The complete opposite is actually believed to be true. Most historians actually believe that King Tut loved to hunt and participate in sports. His family was widely regarded for their military craftsmanship. Even the artwork in Tut’s tomb lends to the idea that he loved to get out and hunt. The wildlife along the Nile, especially just after the annual floods, would have likely been remarkable. Some people even believe that a hippopotamus could have been the cause of the broken bones that King Tut suffered near the end of his life.
6. He Inspired a Social Revolution
Thousands of years after his life ended, King Tut inspired a massive social revolution. As the 3,500 artifacts that were found in his tomb began to be displayed in worldwide exhibits, it started a craving for all things Egyptian. People began to walk like them. They began to wear jewelry and clothing that was inspired by the culture. It was a 2-5 year period of time in the 1970s that was absolutely bananas. Imagine kids wanting to have snake bracelets for Christmas instead of video games and you’ll get how crazy people were for Egyptian stuff at the time.
7. More of a Minor Than a Major
Egyptians buried their leaders based on how much they were able to accomplish over the course of their life. The biggest and brightest kings were considered “major” kings and much was done to remember their names because those who could have their names remembered would live on throughout history. King Tut was not a major king. He barely even qualified as a minor king according to how his people responded to his death. It took 70 days to get him buried and it was done so in a hasty fashion. Despite all of this, when people think of Egyptian rulers today, King Tut is one of the first names that come to mind.
8. Curse That Hearse
King Tut didn’t have any heirs, but his wife did have two children that miscarried. They were buried with him in his tomb. It’s only part of the curse that is said to follow this Boy King around. The man responsible for the funding behind the tomb’s discovery died 7 weeks after the tomb was open because of a mosquito. The lights when off in his hometown when this man, named Lord Carnarvon, died. His pets even died. There is even a lesion on the face of King Tut in the same place where the infected mosquito bite took care of Lord Carnarvon. All of this has added up to a curse that some people say affects anyone who has entered King Tut’s tomb. Is it real? Doubtful. It still makes a great story though.
King Tut has become one of the most memorable leaders of Egypt, even though he barely served for a decade. His name has continued to live on, and in the great traditions of Ancient Egypt, King Tut will continue to live on through history.