Tutankhamun Facts

Tutankhamun is best known as King Tut.  He has also been called the ‘Boy King’ because he was a young king of Egypt.

Tutankhamun was the last member of his royal family to rule in the 18th Dynasty (1332-1323 BC). His mother was his father’s sister, and he took the throne at eight or nine years of age.

Howard Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamun’s nearly intact tomb in 1922 sparked a renewed public interest in ancient Egypt. His mask remains a popular symbol.

Tutankhamun Facts for Kids

  • Tutankhamun lived around 1332 – 1323 BC
  • He is also known as King Tut
  • Tutankhamun was the son of Akhenaten
  • He ruled for 9 years and died when he was 18
  • Howard Carter uncovered the burial tomb in 1922
  • Tutankhamun’s tomb had 5,000 items
  • Carter took eight years to remove and catalog everything

Tutankhamun’s family

Tutankhamun’s dad was Akhenaten.

His mum was not the beautiful Nefertiti, but one of his dad’s other wives.

In ancient Egypt, it was ok for Pharaohs to have more than one wife.

Akhenaten had lots of other wives because he wanted a son to be Pharaoh after he died.

Tutankhamun’s dad was not very well-liked when he was alive or when he was dead.  Tutankhamun’s name when he was born was Tutankhaten.

His dad had given him a name that followed the new god Aten.

King Tut did not like this, so after his dad died, he changed it to Tutankhamun and started to believe in the old gods.

Who Discovered Tutankhamun’s Tomb

Egyptologist Howard Carter

Howard Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamun’s nearly intact tomb in 1922 sparked a renewed public interest in ancient Egypt. His mask remains a popular symbol.

Carter began work for Lord Carnarvon in 1907, and the two worked together for the next 16 years, with varying fortunes but always united by their mutual regard and affection.

Lord Carnarvon funded Carter’s excavations in the Valley of the Kings but became dissatisfied after several years of finding little. Carter and Carnarvon agreed to fund one more season of excavations.

On 24 November 1922, Carter, Carnarvon, Lady Evelyn, and Arthur Callender cleared the rubble-filled corridor behind Tutankhamun’s tomb and discovered a sealed doorway in the top left-hand corner. They entered the tomb unauthorized that night.

The next morning, 27 November, an Egyptian official inspected the tomb, and Callender rigged up electric lighting, illuminating a vast haul of items. The tomb contained over 5,000 items.

Carter received no honors from the British government for his archaeological find but was awarded the Order of the Nile by King Fuad I of Egypt in 1926 and honorary degrees by Yale University and the Real Academia de la Historia of Madrid.

What was found in King Tut’s tomb

It had three coffins nested inside each other in a sarcophagus. 

King Tut’s mummified body was in the last coffin, made of solid gold. 

A perfectly preserved mummy was the most valuable thing in the tomb. Other things found were jewelry, statues, a chariot, weapons, and clothing. 

There were rumors that a curse would befall those who disturbed the tomb, so the treasures were carefully documented, removed, and displayed in the traveling exhibition “Treasures of Tutankhamen.” 

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is the permanent now home of the exhibition.

King Tut

King Tut’s Head Bust in the British Museum

Tutankhamun was only seven years old when his dad died.  His big brother, Smenkhkare, was crowned Pharaoh first.

Smenkhkare died after a year, and a female Pharaoh was in charge of Egypt for two years.  Tutankhamun was crowned Pharaoh when he was about 10 years old.

Because Tutankhamun was very young, he had help from a general called Horemheb and an advisor called Vizier Ay.

Tutankhamun knew that the people of Egypt had not been happy when his dad was in charge.  He let them go back to following their old gods.

Tutankhamun also had the temples for the old gods fixed.  Tutankhamun even had his name changed to show how much he liked the old gods.

When his dad had been in charge, there was a new capital city.  Tutankhamun moved back to Memphis and said this was the capital city again.  This made the people of Egypt very happy.

When Tutankhamun was about 18 or 19 years old, he hurt his leg.  The wound on his leg made him very ill and hurt him a lot.

In ancient Egypt, they did not have the right medicine to help Tutankhamun with his bad leg.  Tutankhamun died when he was 19 years old because of an illness caused by his bad leg.

Death of King Tut

When a new Pharaoh is crowned, one of the first things they do is to plan for their death.  Tutankhamun was very young when he died and did not have much time to have his tomb built.

It is believed that his grave was made for someone else.  Because Tutankhamun was so young when he died, he was given this other tomb.

Tutankhamun’s tomb was found in 1922, and it was filled with lots of treasure, his old toys, and gold!  Tutankhamun was buried in a gold coffin.

Tutankhamun did get married, but he was not known to be a dad to any children.  After Tutankhamun died, his general Horemheb, or Vizier Ay became Pharaoh.

What did you learn?

What other or short name was Tutankhamun also called?
King Tut

How many children did Tutankhamun have?

How old was Tutankhamun when he died?
18 or 19 years old

Tutankhamun’s tomb was filled with gold.  True or false?

What was Tutankhamun’s coffin made from?