King Tutankhamun was a pharaoh in the late years of ancient Egypt, in 1346 BC. He inherited the throne at 10 years old and lived until he was 19, which was considered normal for ancient Egyptians.
There are different ideas about how he died but some people think he was murdered by two servants for his power!
King Tut was buried in the Valley of the Kings – a burial site for pharaohs next to the Nile.
His tomb was found by the British archaeologist Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon (who paid for the work) in 1922. Carter and Carnarvon wanted to find out about how people lived in ancient Egyptian times.
Because the tomb was so well hidden, it took Carter five years to find it! Eventually, it was found under the mud brick houses of the builders for the pharaoh Rameses VI’s tomb.
Carter sent a telegram to Carnarvon telling him what he had found, so Carnarvon sailed from England to the burial site and they opened up the tomb.
The archaeologists found several different rooms in the tomb which had been previously searched by grave robbers. However, these rooms still stored lots of precious goods and important information on life in ancient Egypt.
One room was of particular interest – the burial room. This room contained King Tut’s body. On the outside, written in hieroglyphics, was the message “Death Shall Come on Swift Wings to Him Who Disturbs the Peace of the King.”
The ancient Egyptians believed that damaging or disturbing the mummy of the dead would prevent their soul from returning to their body and so they would not be able to reach the afterlife.
Therefore, they wrote curses and spells on their tombs to scare away grave robbers. In King Tut’s case, once the tomb was opened, many strange things occurred.
With all this happening, it’s no wonder some people thought that King Tut wanted revenge and so called it the mummy’s curse!
It’s now known that illnesses are linked to opening ancient tombs. The tombs often contain poisonous plant moulds which have grown over thousands of years and toxic gases which have built up in the closed space. Archaeologists now always wear masks when exploring the tombs to protect themselves from the dangers of the toxins and the curse.