(NEBKHEPERRE) ca 1343-1333 B.C.
Later usurped by Horemheb.
King of Upper Egpyt and Lower Egypt, Nebkheperure, son of Re,
Tutankhamun, given life.
Heqa Iunu Semai
child. Depicted as the god Nefertem
The parents of
Tutankhamen are not known. The most accepted theory however is that
Tutankhamen was the son of Akhenaten and his secondary wife Kiya.
Ankhesenamen, who may very well have been his half-sister. Two mummies
prematurely born babies were found in Tutankamen's tomb and both girls
thought to be the daughters of Tutankhamen and his wife Ankhesenamen.
living children that we know of when he died at the age of ca. 19 years
Tutankhuaten in approximately year 9 in Akhetaten during the reign of
He bore the title of King's Son of his body. This title likely implies
Akhenaten was his father. If there was a long co-regency between
and his father Amenhotep III, which is assumed by many, then there's a
chance that Amenhotep III was Tutankhamen's father.
up in Akhetaten, apparently in the North Palace it seems more likely
Akhetaten was his father. The North Palace was the residence of Kiya, a
wife of Akhenaten. It is often speculated that Kiya was the mother. The
is that Kiya is only ever shown with a daughter, not with a son. It
be noted however that it is fairly rare to find depictions of royal
during this particular time period. The known depictions of royal sons
often with their tutors or in a rare instance with their father, but
usually not with their mother. It is entirely possible however that
future finds will shed more light on this question.
There is a
astronomical instrument in the Oriental Institute Museum (Chicago), and
the inscription Tutankhamen claims Thutmosis IV as a forefather. The
is sufficiently ambiguous that the words used could mean that Thutmosis
was Tutankhamen's grandfather (Larsen) or great-grandfather (Reeves)
Murnane]. The text does seem to point to either Amenhotep III or
being the father of Tutankhamen.
Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamen at Karnak.
(Photo by Sesen)
The End of an Era
The end of the
period preceding the reign of Tutankhamen is rather murky. There was a
succession of co-regents, Kings and Queens and the exact history is
still not quite understood. It seems that Akhenaten appointed Nefertiti
as his co-regent at some point, and was later followed on the throne by
Ankhkheperure Smenkhare and Merytaten and possibly followed by a Queen
Ankhetkheperure Neferneferuaten. The order and length of these reigns
is a source of much speculation.
is much debate about the identity of this last Queen. Some see her as
Nefertiti claiming the throne, while others think that Merytaten
claimed the throne for herself after the death of her husband
Smenkhare. After this seemingly turbulent period Prince Tutankhuaten
became Pharaoh with Ankhesenpaaten as his wife.
Scene showing Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamen (from the golden throne)
at a very young age. He must have been 7 or 8 years old. He only
10 years. After some years on the throne the royal couple changed their
from Tutankhaten and Ankhesenpaaten to Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamen. A
inscription was found in 1905 in the Great Hypostyle Hall at Karnak.
large granite stela was issued on the occasion of the King's official
of the Atenist legacy. The text describes the steps undertaken to
the orthodox cults to their former glory. Lay priests and higher clergy
appointed. It is made clear that these officials are the 'son-of-a-man'
name was known. In other words all the appointed officials came from
families of high ranking individuals.
Scenes in the
room of general Horemheb's tomb in Saqqara give hints of a military
conflict. There is reference to his lord [the Pharaoh] being on the
battlefield smiting Asiatics. Apparently Horemheb, as generalissimo,
was responsible for leading a military campaign in order to reassert
Egypt's power over the city states of western Asia and the tribes of
Nubia. There is a clear indication that Tutankhamen was present on the
battlefield, which implies it probably
took place towards the end of his reign.
of 17 or 18 years old and was buried in the Valley of the Kings in KV62.
His tomb and Mummy
His tomb was
1922 by Howard Carter, who worked for Lord Carnarvon. On November 22
1922 a rock-cut step was discovered below the entrance to the tomb of
Ramses VI. After clearing the steps, a door was discovered. Behind this
door was a rubble filled corridor. After clearing this corridor a
second door was encountered. A resealed hole was evident in the
top-left corner of the
door, indicating that the tomb had been entered in antiquity. Behind
door Carter would find four rooms filled with treasures.
animal-headed couches, chariots and life-sized guardian statues. The
was a store chamber situated off the Antechamber, and intended for the
of wine jars and food provisions. The decorated burial chamber
four golden shrines that were nested like Russian dolls. Within the
shrine was a quartzite sarcophagus which held three nested coffins. The
innermost coffin was made of solid gold. Another room named the
Treasure held the canopic equipment.
mummy was unwrapped
and a large quantity of beautiful jewelry was discovered on the body.
The body was rather heavily covered with resin, and there are reports
that the team used headed knives to pry the mummy mask off the mummy.
The mummy seems to have been damaged rather extensively. The arms were
broken into several distinct pieces to facilitate the removal of
bracelets, and the body was decapitated.
Over the years
theories developed about the death of Tutankhamen. Some
speculated that he may have been killed by a blow to the
of the head. Others wondered if the absence of the front of his ribcage
indicated that the king had suffered a major accident. In January 2005,
a CT scan was performed. A team of scientists reached the conclusion
there was no evidence of foul play. There was no blow to the back of
head, and even though the front of the ribcage was missing the mummy
no signs of having suffered a crushed chest. What the team did find was
damage to the legs. The left thigh was broken, as was the lower right
The team disagreed about the time the injuries were sustained. Some
the injuries occurred during Tutankhamen's life, and a possible
may be the cause of death. Others thought it was equally possible for
legs to have suffered the breaks after death, and possibly even at the
of Carter and his team. The team concluded that the king had been
healthy and showed no signs of any spinal problems. At this point we
do not know definitively what killed Tutankhamen.
opening of the mouth scene in
Tutankhamen's tomb. Pharaoh Aye is shown performing the ceremony.
The aftermath of Tutankhamen's
the Dahamunzu affair
found in the Hittite archive outlining a strange string of events that
took place after the death of Tutankhamen. After the death of King
Tutankhamen, Queen Ankhesenamen wrote to the King of the Hittites and
asked him to send
her one of his sons. She promises to marry the Prince and make him King
of Egypt. She claims to be afraid and declares that she will not marry
any of her 'servants'. King Suppiluliuma suspects some trick and sends
of his envoys to investigate. After some time the King decides to send
son, Prince Zannanza, to Egypt. The prince dies and the King expects
play. The last letters in the exchange show a correspondence between
and Suppiluliuma. This shows that all of Ankhesenamen's machinations
come to naught. There is some indication that Ankhesenamen married Aye,
she disappears from history soon after that.
Shrine from the tomb of Tutankhamen.
from the reign of Tutankhamen:
Aye: God's Father (It-netjer),
Master of the Horse, possibly Vizier. Aye was already a prominent
official during the reign of Akhenaten. His wife Tey was the wet-nurse
of Nefertiti, and some scholars think that Aye may have been the father
of this famous Queen. If this is true, then he would have seen his
granddaughter Ankhesenamen become Queen and take the throne alongside
Ipay, Royal butler,
Served from the time of Tutankhamen to Horemheb. Found by the
Universities of Waseda and Tokai expedition in Dashur.
Ipi, royal scribe,
fan-bearer on the right of the King(Tutankhamen) and great overseer of
the royal household (Stela at the Hermitage Museum)
Maia: wet-nurse to the
King. Her tomb was found in Saqqara by French archeologists, led by
Pa-atenemheb was a royal butler. He was buried in Saqqara.
Pay was overseer of
the royal apartments of the King's private apartments in the Harem of
Memphis and overseer of the cattle of Amun. He served under Tutankhamen.
and his wife Repyt had three sons (Nebre, Mahu and Raia) and three
Raia, the son of Pay
was Master of the Horses and a fan-bearer on the right of the king.
Raia would later follow in his father's footsteps as overseer of the
Count/Mayor, fan-bearer on the right of the King, God's father,
overseers of nurses and Senked, the overseer of
tutors (nurses). A double tomb was found in Akhmin for these two
(probably related) men. Both Tutankhamen and Aye feature prominently in
the tomb. (Macquary University)
Huy, Viceroy of Kush under
Tutankhamen and buried in TT40.
And his wife Taemwadjsy
was Superior of the Harem
Nebkheperure (Tutankamen) residing in 'Who Satisfies the Gods'.
Taemwadjsy was also Superior of the Harem of Amen, and as such the
successor of Tuya (the mother of Queen Tiye). She first married
Amenhotep, called Huy, the King's Son of Kush. Her son Paser later
became King's Son of Kush as well. After the death of her first husband
she married Khaemwaset, the brother of Paramesse (the later Pharaoh
Ramses I). It is likely that Taemwadjsy was related to the family from
Akhmin who include Yuya and Tuya. By her second marriage she was also
related to the Ramesside Royal family.
Iniuia, started his
career as a scribe of the state treasury (under Maya?) but later became
overseer of the cattle of Amun and high steward. Iniuia was married to
Iuy, a songtress of Amun. They had two sons: Ramose and Penahori
(scribes of the treasury of the temple of Aten), and two daughters
Merytre and Wiay.
The treasurer Maya shown in his
Maya: Chancellor, fan-bearer at the right-hand of the
King, overseer of the treasury.
The tomb of Maya
his wife (and half-sister) Meryt was found in Saqqara. They had two
daughters: Mayamenti and Tjauenmaya. Maya also had two brothers: Nakht,
scribe of the treasury of the Lord of the Two Lands, and Parennefer,
overseer of the bowmen as well as overseer of the horses. Meryt had a
brother (who was
then a half-brother of Maya) named Nahuher. Nahuher was Royal scribe
high steward of the Ramesseum.
, overseer of the
treasury, probably dates to
Pay, Royal scribe, overseer of the King's private
apartments in Memphis / of the Queen / in Gereg-Waset, Overseer of the
young females of the Lord of the Two Lands, overseer of all the works
of all the monuments of his majesty, overseer of the cattle of Amun-Re.
Pay was married
Repyt, and had three sons and three daughters. Raia followed in his
father's footsteps. He probably served under Horemheb. Two other sons
were Nebre (scribe of the treasury) and Mahu.
Pentu, Vizier (known from inscription on a wine jar in
Usermontu Vizier, etc.,
son of Nebmehyt [Griffith Inst.]
General Horemheb shown in his tomb in Saqqara, and some of his officers
are shown on the right.
Horemheb: Executive (Iry'pat), Generalissimo. During
Tutankhamen's reign Horemheb was most likely married to Amenia, a
chantress of Amen. Horemheb's tomb in Saqqara (Memphis) is an important
source of information. The tomb was built during the reign of
Tutankhamen and Aye. Upon becoming Pharaoh himself, a uraeus was added
to the brow of most of his images.
Nakhtmin generalissimo under
Tutankhamen. Likely the son of Aye. Nakhtmin contributed five ushabtis
to the grave goods of Tutankhamen.
Paramesse: General under Tutankhamen. Would later serve as
Vizier under Horemheb, and would ultimately take the throne as Ramesses
Penniut, deputy commander of Wawat. From a stela. He's
also depicted in Viceroy Huy's tomb.
Meryptah: High Priest of Ptah
Parennefer, also called Wennefer, High Priest of Amun. The tomb of the High Priest of Amun, Parennefer, was
discovered north of Dra Abu el-Naga in 1989. The tomb is
TT162. Parennefer also served under Horemheb.
Ptahemhat-Ty, High Priest of Ptah (inscription).
Bibliography / Suggested Reading
Records of Egypt, Vol2, The eighteenth dynasty. Chicago 1906 (reprinted in 2001)
2. Dodson A. and
Hilton D. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, London 2004
Malek, J., Magee,
Miles, E., Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian
Hieroglyphic Texts, Statues, Reliefs and PaintingsVolume VIII: Objects
of Provenance Not Known: Statues (Published online
3. Martin, G.T. The Hidden Tombs of Memphis, London 1991
4. Murnane, W.J.
from the Amarna Period in Egypt,
5. Porter and
Theban Necropolis. Part One: The Private Tombs, 2nd ed. Paperback 2004 (originally
printed in 1960)
6. Reeves, N., Ancient
Egypt, The Great Discoveries,
7. van den Hout,
T.P.J., De zaak Zannanza. Een Egyptisch-Hettitisch brievendossier, Phoenix,
(1993), 159-167. "The Zannanza affair.
Egyptian-Hittite letter file."
8. The Saqqara
Online website maintained by Leiden University (the Netherlands)
Some of the illusttrations courtesy of Jon Bodsworth http://www.egyptarchive.co.uk/index.htm