King Tut — Egyptian Pharaoh — A Life in Pieces
Life in Pieces: A Child God
King Tut was a boy who lived–and was preserved in death–like a god. He was only nine or 10 when he inherited the throne as pharaoh in 1332 BC. His short life amounted to only 19 years. He was unlucky in the health department, constantly plagued with maladies including malaria and infection, which scientists believe contributed to his early demise.
Life in Pieces: A Tomb Unearthed
On November 4, 1922, British archaeologist Howard Carter unearthed the entrance to Tut’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Carter’s team breached the interior walls of the tomb and found a setting surprisingly intact and untouched by time (3,000 years!). Thousands of objects were found and catalogued, among them a coffin of solid gold that held Tut’s remains.
Life in Pieces: Touring Tut
In the 1970s, the artifacts from Tut’s tomb went on a worldwide touring exhibition. 1.6 million visitor attended it when it came to the British Museum, some people waiting as long as eight hours to see the show. More than eight million people in the United States attended the exhibition. From that time on, King Tut’s name became a household one. Saturday Night Live spoofed on the young king’s notoriety, led by Steve Martin, who parodied the young pharoah as a funky front man for a band.
The latest research suggests that all of the loot in Tut’s tomb may not have been meant for him. Scientists believe several items had been ear-marked for the tomb of Queen Nefertiti, the young king’s step-mother.
The latest update to the Tut saga has to do with the possible dissolution of the NEA and NEH. Without these funds in the 1970s the Tut exhibition would never have landed on American shores. A literal king’s worth of archaeological knowledge would have passed an entire generation by.
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