Mysterious King Tut!

Gilded sarcophagus of King Tutankhamen
The items in King Tut’s tomb taught archaeologists a lot about the boy king. But there are many mysteries surrounding King Tutankhamun.

King Tutankhamun (King Tut) became the pharaoh of Egypt over 3,000 years ago. He was nine years old. A decade after he came to power, he died. Historians didn’t know much about King Tut until archaeologist Howard Carter uncovered Tut’s tomb in 1922. Four rooms full of objects revealed much about Tut’s life. But there were still some mysteries!

One mystery was—where was Tut? After two years of searching the tomb, Carter found a room inside the tomb with a huge coffin. Inside the coffin was—another coffin! And a third coffin, made in gold, was inside the second one. There, Carter and his team found Tut’s mummified body, covered with a beautiful golden mask.

Archeologists wanted to solve another mystery—how did King Tut die? At first, historians believed that a jealous rival had murdered King Tut, perhaps by poisoning him or hitting him on the head. Decades later, modern medical scanning showed that the King was not in good health. He had a broken leg. Some believe that he broke his leg in a chariot race and died of an infection. But we will probably never know for sure how King Tut died.

Another mystery surrounding Tut has to do with those who discovered him. Was there a curse on those who located the tomb? Local legends circulated, saying those who disturbed the tomb would face a terrible fate. A few of the people who opened the tomb and who paid for the expedition did become ill in the years following the discovery. Some, however, believe that the archaeologists themselves created the story of the curse to keep reporters away. But Howard Carter himself lived to the age of 64! And many of the team members lived well into their 70s. Although mummy curses are great plots for movies, there was most likely not a curse on King Tut’s tomb!

What Do You Think? Why do you think people are so fascinated with King Tut? What do you find most interesting about him?

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