It is believed, that after the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten, the heretic king of whom I write more about later was over,
the powers to be (court,military and the old religion priesthood), were able to convince Akhenatens young nephew, Tutankhaten,
the son of Pharoah Smenkhkare who was the younger brother of Akhenaten and ruled for only a few years after the death of his
Akhenaten, to move the court to Memphis. The new pharaoh then only about 9 years old, also was convinced to change his
name back to Tutankhamun to honor the old religion. Tutankhamun was easy to control while he was young. But, as he got older
and began to exert his authority over those who tried to control him, they
decided that it was time for him to depart this world. Through an outright act of violence or accident, Tutankhamun met
an untimely end at about the age of 19. Tutankhamun's wife, Ankhesenamun, a daughter of Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti,
making Ankheseamun Tutankhamun's cousin, was about 12 when she married Tutankhamun,. Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun had two
stillborn daughters, aborted at about 5 and 8 months. Both were buried with their father in his tomb.
Since Tutankhamun left no sons to succeed him, Ankhesenamuns grandfather Ay,on her mothers side, who controlled the court,
became Pharaoh after the death of
Tutankhamun and by marrying his granddaughter Ankhesenamun, he insured his claim to the throne. Sometime during Ay's
reign, Ankhesenamun disappears from history, how, no record has ever been found or her tomb/mummy. AY passed away after four
years as Pharaoh and Tutankhamun's top army general, Horemheb became Pharaoh and ruled for 28 years. Horemheb left no heirs
to the throne so his military general, Ramesses, became Pharaoh Ramesses I and began the reign of the
A puzzle, if Tutankhamun really rejected the Aten religion, he moved the capital back to Memphis, changed his name from
Tutankhaten to Tutankhamun, why were so many items found in his tomb associated with the religion of the Aten ? I would have
expected the Amun priests to not want any picture or mention of the Aten
religion buried with the Pharaoh. Some of the seals on wine jars, found in the tomb, were from the vinyards of the Aten,
showing that estates associated with
the Aten religion were still operating. Did Tutankhamun and his Queen secretly still practice the religion of the "One
God", the Aten ?
One item found in Tutankhamun's tomb, along with the mummies of his unborn daughters was a lock of his grandmother's
hair, Queen Tiy, the queen of
Tutankhamuns grandfather, Pharaoh Amenhotep III and the mother of Pharaoh Smenkhkare, Tutankhamuns father.
More than 3,000 years after the death of the young Pharaoh Tutankhamen, questions are still being asked about how he
died. Was it a natural death or was he murdered? The possibility that Tutankhamen did not die of natural causes was first
raised 28 years ago when an X-ray analysis of his mummy was made by the anatomy department of the University of Liverpool.
It revealed that the king may have died from a blow to the back of his head.
The suggestion caused a controversy among Egyptologists and scientists. If he were murdered, who done it? Was it Aye,
Tutankhamen's vizier who ascended to the throne after his death and married his wife? Or was it Horernhab, the army officer
who became king after Ayes short four-year rule? Some archaeologists suggested that Aye and Horemhab might have shared the
guilt, working in cahoots to kill the boy.
Early this year, a new X-ray analysis cast more light on the subject, this time suggesting that Tutankhamen may have
been murdered in his sleep. The examination was conducted by a trauma specialist at Long Island University, USA, "The blow
was to a protected area at the back of the head which you don't injure in an accident, someone had to sneak up from behind,"
said the specialist.
X-rays also show a thickening of a bone in the cranium which could occur only after a build-up of blood. This would indicate
that the king might have been left bleeding for a long time before he actually died. In short, scientists suggest that the
king was most probably hit on the back of his head-while asleep and that he lingered, maybe for as long as two months, before
According to Mohamed Saleh, Derictor-General of the Egyptian Museum, the original analysis of Tutankhamen's mummy suggested
that the boy king died of a lung disease or even a brain tumour. "This would explain the lump found on the back of his head,"
In 1968, when the new analysis was carried out on the mummy, it was suggested that Tutankhamen was hit on the head and
murdered by either Aye or Horemhab. "But in my opinion this could not be the case," said Saleh "because Tutankhamen had no
enemies; on the contrary, he was loved by the priests and the population because he re-established the stale religion of Amun-Re
after the religious revolution under Akhenaten, and re-opened all temples. Moreover," Salah added, "Aye and Horemhab would
have had no reason to kill Tutankhamen because he was youth and did not hold authority.
Madelen El-Mallakh, Director-General of Luxor Museum, commented on the traces of a blow to the head: "Who is to say for
certain how it was administered, whether it was foul play or accidental," she said. "There is certainly an element of mystery
surrounding Tut's death."
Bob Brier, an American Egyptologist, believes that Tutankhamen was indeed murdered, and claims he knows by whom. "It
was either by his own personal attendant or by his cup-bearer. No one could easily approach the back of the pharaoh unless
it was part of his job to do so," he said. "The king's attendant and his cup-bearers would be the only people allowed to enter
his bedroom without arousing suspicion." Brier added that he will back up his hypothesis with archaeological evidence which
will be shown in his documentary, The Great Pharaohs.
Such contradictions raised by Egyptologists prompted the Antiquities and Travel Lovers' Committee (ATLC), an Egyptian
non-profit organisation, to re-examine Tutankhamen's mummy and tomb and to carry out further research on the possible causes
of his death.
The first step was a re-examination of the three tombs on the The ban necropolis belonging to Aye, Horemhab and Tut.
The tomb and the treasure of the latter have revealed two pieces of literary evidence suggesting that Aye and Horemhab were
innocent of murder.
The first is a papyrus document related to the "opening of the mouth ceremony," a ritual in which the dead man proclaims
his innocence of any act he may have committed during his life-time, or mentions any subject he wants to shed light on in
preparation for the day of judgement. Tutankhamen's document indicated that Aye was innocent of his murder. Also, on the pedestal
of one of Horemhab's statues is a text in which he left a message to all Egyptians, indicating that he was not the man who
committed the crime. He declared in writing that he was loyal to his king and carried out all his orders faithfully. He also
warned any Egyptian who may read the text, against 'normalising' relations with foreigners and told them never to trust them:
"Egyptian brothers, don't ever forget what foreigners did to our King Tutankhamen", Horemhab wrote.
Forensic examination carried out by Egyptian experts on Tutankhamens mummy reveal that he was poisoned and it is now
suggested that the blow to the back of the head might have happened after his death, during mummification. "His body might
have been dropped on the floor and his head hit the flagstones; there is no trace of bleeding around the blow," say experts.
Now another person is being accused of the murder: Tutu or Dudu, described first as an official in the court of Amenhotep
III, later that of his son Akhenaten, and, later still, Tutankhamen. He was not an Egyptian and a person of a somewhat un-savoury
character who caused friction in the royal household. One of the leaders of a vassal state in Tunib in Palestine reputedly
used this man to divert the messages of the Egyptian contingents in the area, so their calls for help failed to reach Egypt,
and no aid was given. When AKhenaton realised that he had been supplied with false evidence about the true situation of his
troops abroad, he apparently announced that an investigation would be carried out forthwith to discover its source.
His death in mysterious circumstances followed and members of the ATLC suggest that it was Tutu who was responsible for
the deaths of Akhenaten and Tutankhamun "because in the tomb of the latter, an object like a trotter was found on which graffiti
invokes, 'go to the real killer and beat him and awake him from his death to confess and admit his crime so that the one who
is now accused can be declared innocent." Since trotters were not, ritual objects in Ancient Egypt it is suggested that it
belonged to outsiders. "Therefore, as Tutu was a foreigner, the priests used the trotter to indicate the nationality of the
murderer." Mohamed El-Saghir, head of Upper Egyptian Antiquities, added to the mystery.
He claims that there is insufficient historical or archaeological evidence to suggest that either Aye or Horemhab were
murderers, "but what is noteworthy is that Horemhab usurped some of Tutankhamen's treasure and affixed his name to it." El-Saghir
referred to the two statues on display in Luxor Museum which were found in the open court of Amenhotep III in Luxor Temple
in 1989. These feature the king seated before the god Atum and the goddess Isis respectively.
Beneath each are texts stating: 'Horemhab with gods' and El-Saghir points out that studies on both these statues reveal
that they have the same physiognomy as Tutankhamen as well as evidence that the original texts were erased to inscribe the
new ones. Analysis on the faint traces of the former show some parts of Tutankhamen's titles. "And as for Aye," El-Saghir
continues, "there is insufficient evidence that he is guilty. He was the high priest and was, moreover, the one who wrote
Tutankhamen's negative confession and performed " opening of the mouth ceremony".
While Tutankhamen's murder is so much in the news, it must not be forgotten that his wife, Ankhespaton, must not been
entirely ruled out as a suspect. She was the one who dispatched a message to the Syrian monarch asking him to send one of
his sons to marry her following the death of her husband because she was without a son to take care of her; she indicated
that she could not marry one of her 'slaves.' Was she referring to Aye? Since there is evidence that Tutankhamen was murdered
by poison, could she have been involved in a scheme with his cup-bearer?