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King Tutankhamun was, until the discovery of his tomb, a fairly insignificant and little known king from the 18th Dynasty. Even in spite of the amazing discoveries made in his tomb (KV62) we still have very little information about him. Surviving evidence indicates that he succeeded Smenkhkare and was the last of the true Amarna pharaohs. He grew up in the royal palace at Akhetaten, but during his reign power was switched away from the city of Akhetaten back to Thebes.

It is very likely that Tutankhamun had very little real power at this time. He grew up and spent his childhood at Akhetaten, where the only worship would have been of the Aten. For this reason he would probably have had little experience of the other traditional gods. It is likely that the return to the old ways after the death of Akhenaten instigated by the priesthood,who would have welcomed the possibility to regain the lands and power they had lost.

Kiya Little is known of Tutankhamun's family. Various theories state that he was rither Akhenaten's son or brother, and that his mother was either Queen Tiye, Nefertiti or Kiya.
Tutankhamun was originally named Tutankhaten and it is certain that he was married to one of Akhenaten's daughters, Ankhesenamun. Her name was orignallly Ankhesenpaaten but was changed when Akhenaten's cult of the Aten was abandoned.
Akhenaten and Nefertiti
When the tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered among the contents were two mummified unborn foetuses. It is hoped that DNA testing of these will reveal if they were Tutankhamun's children, as well as adding more evidence to the expanding database of Ancient Egyptian DNA.
It was reported in August of 2008 that samples had been taken, but there is no news on the results yet.

Isis from the tomb of Tutankhamun

There are several objects discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamun which show clearly the state of flux which the country was in during his short reign. Two examples are shown here, the goddesses Isis and Selkis. The statues are in the more natural Amarna style, but the images on the side of the shrine are in the more orthodox style.

This could possibly indicate that the statues were made much earlier than the shrine, and are perhaps another example of Smenkhkare's funerary goods which were reused.

Selket from the tomb of Tutankhamun


The Complete Tutankhamun



Akhenaten : King of Egypt


The Chronicle of the Pharaohs