Friday, January 15, 2010

King Tut

King Tutankhamun is probably the most famous of all Egyptian Pharaohs. His tomb is very famous. His burial mask is famous as well. But few people know part of the story.

The last Pharaoh, Akhenaten, had decided that there was only one God in Egypt, Aten (not so far from the truth there), and had spent his whole reign taking care of his one god that the Pharaoh forgot to defend Egypt against invaders. For some reason, he died mysteriously. Certain officials (such as his uncle Ay, the highest minister) had no connection to his death, I'm sure. Akhenaten's brother, Tutankhamun, was next in line for the throne. He was only nine, though, so Ay took over and began sorting out religion and military problems. Ay ran the country while Tut enjoyed himself.

Then Tut died mysteriously. It could have been from natural causes, but Tut was only 18. Could he have been murdered? And might Ay have had anything to do with it? He did become Pharaoh after Tut died by marrying Tut's wife... his grand-daughter, Ankhesenamun.(Why did they always have such weird names?!)Tut's wife didn't like that idea at first.

Ankhesenamun decided to marry a foreign prince before Ay could marry her, who would become the new Pharaoh. He was murdered on the way to Egypt.(Could Ay have arranged that?! No, I'm sure not.) Ankhesenamun married her grand-father, but he died after a few years of married life.

King Tut's tomb was discovered on November 26, 1922. But certain circumstances surrounding that are interesting. As the workers left the cave that day, a sandstorm swirled around the mouth of the cave. When it died away, a hawk was seen in the west. The hawk is the symbol of the royal family of Egypt. The west was the direction of the Egyptians' land of the dead.

Things happened after that. The man who'd funded the work died. A man threw himself from the window of the room where one of Tut's vases was. The man who opened the tomb, Howard Carter, had a canary which was eaten by a cobra, a symbol of Egypt or something. But Carter died of natural causes. Why didn't the "curse" take him first?

The story of the curse is rather silly. There was no curse put on mummies anyway, just a spell to scare enemies of the Pharaoh and to wish the mummy a safe journey to the afterlife. So as you see it's rather silly.

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