Text & Webpage by Kiyanefere, Tutankhamen Meritamen & Ankhie
the probable son of Akhenaten and Kiya. My name roughly translates as "Living Image of the Aten". Once I assumed the throne, my name was changed to Tutankhamen, "Living Image of Amun," which is probably the name you know me by. My throne name, Nebkheperure, means something like "Lord of the Manifestations of Re".
My exact identity - and my parentage - is still a matter of some conjecture, although it is clear that the I was brought up at Amarna, probably in the North Palace. A number of items found in my famous tomb are relics of my life at the Aten court, notably the Atenís disc shown protecting myself and my young wife, Ankhesenpaaten (Ankhesenamen), on the pictorial back panel of my gold-inlaid throne.
Towards the end of Akhenatenís reign the senior members of the court, especially Ay and Horemheb, probably realized that things could not go on as they were.
Smenkhkare, Akhenatenís brother and co-regent, must have come to the same conclusion since he had left Akhetaten and moved back to the old secular capital, Memphis, where he may have been in contact with the proscribed members of the priesthood of Amun before his death and burial at Thebes.
Soon after the death of Akhenaten, I was crowned Pharaoh. Aged about nine when I succeeded, the I had no close female relatives left - my probable mother Kiya and my stepmother Nefertiti both being dead. I was probably under the direct care and influence of Ay, the senior civil servant, and Horemheb, the military man.
My wife, Ankhesenpaaten, was slightly older than I since she was already of child-bearing age. She may have briefly married Akhenaten or Smenkhkare, and had a child, Ankhesenpaaten ta-Sherit, by one or the other.
As soon as the new king had been installed, a move was made back to the old religion. This was signified radically in Year 2 when the Queen and I changed the -Aten ending of our names to -Amen, becoming King Tutankhamen and Queen Ankhesenamen.
We probably had little to do with this or indeed many other decisions- my "advisors" were the ones who held the reins.
Many reinstallations were made at this time like reopening and rebuilding of the old religion, Amun temples etc. Large number of reliefs and statues have been identified as originally belonging to me were usurped by Horemheb. Apart from the pivotal return to the cult of Amun, few events from my reign have been documented. Military campaigns were apparently mounted in Nubia and Palestine/Syria, suggested by a brightly painted gesso box from my tomb which has four spirited scenes featuring the me.
One shows me hunting lions in the desert, another gazelles, whilst on the third and fourth I furiously attack Nubians and then Syrians, who fall to my arrows. Finely carved scenes of prisoners in the Memphite tomb of the military commander-in-chief, Horemheb, lend some veracity to the scenes on the gesso box, as does the painting in the tomb of Huy, Viceroy of Nubia, which shows subservient Nubian princes and piles of tribute. It's up to debate how many, if any, of these campaigns I actually took part in. You don't expect a 10-year-old to lead an army, do you?
Also in my tomb was the Small Golden Shrine featuring images of Ankhesenamen and myself. In one of them, I'm hunting birds in the marsh, and my queen sits at my feet, readying my next arrow.
I died young, probably during my ninth regnal year. Evidence for this is twofold. First, forensic analysis of my mummy has put my age at death about 18. Secondly, clay seals on wine jars found in my tomb record not only the type of wine, the vineyard and the name of the chief vintner, but also the regnal year when each wine was laid down. The highest recorded date is Year 9, suggesting that I died in that year.
There is no positive evidence on my mummy as to how I died; I certainly didn't die of consumption as some once thought. However, autopsies and X-rays have located a small silver of bone within the upper cranial cavity. It may have arrived there as the result of a blow, but whether deliberately struck, to indicate murder, or the result of an accident, such as a fall from a chariot, it is not possible to say.