Friday, February 5, 2016

King Tut Informational Essay Notes and Research

Here are the handouts:    Click on the link, click on the Download tab, open and print.
Informational Rubric.docx

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Search the name of the person you have chosen.

Use Citation tools: "Tutankhamen." The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015. Research in Context. Web. 3 Feb. 2016.

Another source about King Tut:
Use three sources:
the chapter from How They Croaked,
and two more sources found on 
Gale Research in Context Grades 6-8
or from
Gale Reference Collection - Grades 9-12, Biography in Context,
World Book Encyclopedia on Pioneer Library,
Biography Reference Center on Pioneer Library (EBSCO)

You could also use


Prewriting to Decide What My Essay Will Be About
King Tut
make a point

youth -- becoming famous
his background

Is famous for two reasons

Working thesis: 
       King Tut, the Boy King of Egypt, found fame both in life and in death.
SAMPLE Note-Taking

"Tutankhamen." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Research in Context. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.

the twelfth King of the Eighteenth Egyptian Dynasty, 

He wasn't the most famous of the pharaohs until his tomb was found in 1922.
Despite the existence of conventional representations of the Pharaoh slaying his foes, it is doubtful that Tutankhamen engaged in any serious military operations. There is some indication that the actual power behind the throne was an elderly official named Ay, who is depicted on a fragment of gold leaf with Tutankhamen.

One of the reasons his tomb hadn't been found before 1922 was 
The entrance was hidden from plunderers by debris heaped over it during the cutting of the later tomb of Ramses VI. 

How did he die -- disagreement
Though scientists performed x-rays on Tutankhamen's remains in the 1960s, the pictures were inconclusive. In 2005, nine doctors removed Tutankhamen from his coffin and performed a CAT scan that resulted in extremely detailed images. The archeologists learned that the young pharaoh had not been murdered by a blow to the back of the head, as many enthusiasts had assumed he had been since the initial discovery in the 1920s. The results of the tests showed that at the time of his death, Tutankhamen was in perfect health--sans a break in his leg above the knee. His chest cavity was also missing a few bones. Scientists speculated that Tutankhamen's death may have been the result of an infection that spread when the teen broke his leg, or perhaps he was crushed in battle or by a chariot. The pharaoh's death remains a mystery, as these bones may have broken or been displaced when the remains were discovered and moved nearly a century ago.

"Frail And Sickly, King Tut Suffered Through Life." All Things Considered 16 Feb. 2010. Research in Context. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.

a new study finds that finds that Tutankhamen suffered a range of very human ailments that made his life painful and probably contributed to his death at age 19. The study also suggests a cause for many of Tut's medical problems: inbreeding.

And those treasures also have provoked a lot of speculation about Tut. Carsten Pusch from the University of Tubingen in Germany says that's because the statues and other depictions of Tut make him look so odd.

 So, Pusch and a large international team used molecular genetics and advanced CT scanning to examine Tut and 10 other royal mummies. They found nothing to back up all the speculation. Tut's scull had a normal shape and there was no evidence of female characteristics. Pusch says, Tut's odd portrayal by artists was probably just the style of the time. But he says the tests did reveal enough physical problems to challenge any assumptions you might have had about the life of a boy king.

Pusch says when you put all the evidence together it appears that the king was frail, had weak bones, inflammation and problems with his immune system.
Prof. PUSCH: I do not know any other person who has so many diseases accumulated in his body.

HAMILTON: Pusch says those problems could have come from inbreeding, which was common in the royal family. Genetic tests using DNA from mummified bones found that Tut's probable father, Akhenaten married a sister. And it appears Tut did too.

"American Scientists To Help Restore Tut's Tomb." All Things
NORRIS: Now, for people who have never seen the tomb, could you do me a favor? Could you please describe it and tell me where and how it's starting to deteriorate?

Ms. TEUTONICO: Well, you know, it's in the Valley of the Kings, which is on the west bank of the Nile. It's a reasonably small tomb. You go down - as you do in many of these -- a long staircase. You come into an antechamber and then just adjacent to that is the actual burial chamber, which has wall paintings on four walls. And then, inside that burial chamber is still the sarcophagus that bears the one of the coffins. There were four coffins originally.

"King Tutankhamen's Farewell Tour." Morning Edition 13 Jan. 2011. Research in Context. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.

BAKER: Not only is Tut's mummy not open, to be honest, it's not really on display here in New York. Instead, the exhibit features a life-sized, 3D replica based on CT scans of the actual mummy. Tut's real remains have never left the Valley of the Kings.

BAKER: Tut and his golden entourage will return to Egypt having earned about $80 million. The money will be spread around. Some will aid the preservation of Egyptian temples and monuments. But the majority will pay for the construction of The Grand Egyptian Museum - the final, final resting place for the Boy King's treasures. No more traveling exhibits, we're told.

"King Tut's Chariot On Display In New York." Morning Edition 4 Aug. 2010. Research in Context. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.
One of the most exciting finds at the glittering King Tut exhibit is a simple wooden chariot. Even 3,000 years ago there was no gold leaf. The chariot's charm is it appears to have been driven by the young king.

The Curse
Seiden, Ellen. "The curse of King Tut." Calliope Oct. 2013: 38+. Research in Context. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.

The unearthing of Tut's tomb in 1922 led to "Tutmania" worldwide, with people demanding the latest news about the boy king. At the time. however, news traveled slowly. As a result, the press would sometimes print gossip and dig up sensational stories to feed their readers' curiosity. Weird happenings, including accidents and the untimely deaths of individuals involved with the discovery and the exhibition of treasures, led to the news reports that said trespassing upon the tomb had unleashed the curse of the Pharaoh. According to rumor, the curse "Death comes on swift wings to he who disturbs the tomb of the pharaoh" had been carved on a plaque above the doorway of Tut's tomb. Proof of this carving, however, was never found. Still, popular belief in Tut's revenge grew and would not die.

Bizarre tales seemed to support the existence of "Tut's Curse." First, Howard Carter, who discovered the tomb, brought a lucky golden canary to the Valley of Kings. Reports stated that a cobra, a royal symbol on a pharaoh's headdress, squeezed into the cage and swallowed the canary whole. Then, Lord Carnarvon died at age 57 from an infected mosquito bite and pneumonia--just/bur weeks after he visited 

"Who else is buried in King Tut's tomb? Perhaps a queen, says one Egyptologist." Christian Science Monitor 29 Nov. 2015. Research in Context. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.

We are on the brink of another great discovery in the Valley of the Kings: Behind the walls of the tomb of one of the best-known pharaohs, Tutankhamun, it now appears that hidden chambers have been sealed shut for thousands of years, with mysteries yet to be uncovered.
Ninety-three years ago, almost to the day, the most spectacular archaeological discovery of all time was made in the very same place, when Howard Carter opened the tomb of Tutankhamun, then a little-known boy king of the 18th dynasty of Egyptian pharaohs, and shone a torch on "wonderful things" - golden and bejewelled grave-goods, a throne, a chariot and, most famously, resting on the face of the king's mummy, in the middle of a nest of increasingly ornate sarcophagi, the golden death mask that has become an icon of ancient Egyptian civilisation.
Following such an illustrious precedent, the excitement among Egyptologists about the potential new discovery is dangerously high, with speculation that we may find in the hidden chambers more treasure to rival or even surpass the original discovery, and even perhaps the tomb of Tutankhamun's stepmother, Queen Nefertiti. She was said to be the most beautiful woman in Egypt's history and a bust of her, controversially displayed in the Neues Museum in Berlin, is among the finest works of art of the ancient world.

Tutankhamen." Britannica Biographies (2012): 1. Biography Reference Center. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.

By his third regnal year Tutankhaten had abandoned Tell el-Amarna and moved his residence to Memphis, the administrative capital, near modern Cairo. He changed his name to Tutankhamen and issued a decree restoring the temples, images, personnel, and privileges of the old gods. He also began the protracted process of restoring the sacred shrines of Amon, which had been severely damaged during his father's rule. No proscription or persecution of the Aton, Akhenaton's god, was undertaken, and royal vineyards and regiments of the army were still named after the Aton.

Like other rulers associated with the Amarna period—Akhenaton, Smenkhkare, and Ay—he was to suffer the posthumous fate of having his name stricken from later king lists and his monuments usurped, primarily by his former general, Horemheb, who subsequently became king. Although Tutankhamen's tomb shows evidence of having been entered and briefly plundered, the location of his burial was clearly forgotten by the time of the 20th dynasty (1190–1075 &BCE;), when craftsmen assigned to work on the nearby tomb of Ramses VI built temporary stone shelters directly over its entrance. The tomb was preserved until a systematic search of the Valley of the Kings by the English archaeologist Howard Carter revealed its location in 1922.

Pectoral of gold, silver, and semiprecious stones, from the tomb of Tutankhamen, &circa; 1340 &elipsis; Robert Harding Picture Library Inside his small tomb, the king's mummy lay within a nest of three coffins, the innermost of solid gold, the two outer ones of gold hammered over wooden frames. On the king's head was a magnificent golden portrait mask, and numerous pieces of jewelry and amulets lay upon the mummy and in its wrappings. The coffins and stone sarcophagus were surrounded by four text-covered shrines of hammered gold over wood, which practically filled the burial chamber. The other rooms were crammed with furniture, statuary, clothes, chariots, weapons, staffs, and numerous other objects. But for his tomb, Tutankhamen has little claim to fame; as it is, he is perhaps better known than any of his longer-lived and better-documented predecessors and successors. His renown was secured after the highly popular “Treasures of Tutankhamun” exhibit traveled the world in the 1960s and '70s. The treasures are housed at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

"Ankhesenamen." Britannica Biographies (2012): 1. Biography Reference Center. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.

"Tutankhamun." Ancient Egypt. Detroit: Gale, 2011. Kids InfoBits Presents. Kids InfoBits. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.

Lesko, Leonard H. "Tutankhamun." World Book Student. World Book, 2016. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.


Tutankhamun became king at about the age of 9. He probably received much help from Ay, his  vizier (minister of state). Tutankhamun was the son of King Akhenaten and Akhenaten's sister. Tutankhamun's original name wasTutankhaten, meaning the living image of Aten or the life of Aten is pleasing.Akhenaten had made Aten the only god of Egypt. He wanted Egyptians to stop worshiping the chief sun god Amun and other traditional gods. But many Egyptians, including the powerful priests devoted to Amun, rejected the worship of Aten. About four years after becoming king, Tutankhaten took the name Tutankhamun and restored Egypt's old religion. See Akhenaten.

Carter searched for Tutankhamun's tomb for nearly six years., Editors. "King Tut Biography." A&E Networks Television. Web. 09 Feb. 2016.

World book
Horemheb and later rulers destroyed or removed all monuments built by or in honor of Tutankhamun

One of the most informative items in the tomb was a note on the handle of the king's fan. The note indicated that the young Tutankhamun hunted at Heliopolis, near modern Cairo. Wine-jar labels indicated the length of Tutankhamun's reign. Several objects included scenes of Tutankhamun slaying foreign enemies in battle. But scholars doubt that these scenes pictured actual events.

Due to Tutankhaten's young age when he assumed power, the first years of his reign were probably controlled by an elder known as Ay, who bore the title of Vizier. Ay was assisted by Horemheb, Egypt's top military commander at the time. 

How he died?
egypt museum
It all stacked up. It was all circumstantial evidence as such, but frequently that is all that investigators of ancient mysteries have to go on. And yet, the most recent findings on the death of King Tut (Tutankhamun) seem to conclusively indicate that he died of natural causes, rather than being murdered. Specifically, the latest report is that he died of gangrene caused by a broken leg.
There was more than a little reason to believe that King Tut may have been murdered. The two principal suspects, Aye who succeeded him as king, and General Horemhab who in turn succeeded Aye to the throne, both appear to have been powerful men who, in effect, ruled Egypt while King Tut was a child. It would not be unreasonable at all to believe that, as King Tut grew into a young man, the two elder men would have resented losing much of their power. Furthermore, at the time of his death, King Tut was certainly old enough to have sired an heir to the throne himself, which would have at least technically eliminated Aye and Horemhab from ever ascending the throne. It is also noteworthy that the young King Tut was greatly loved in ancient Egypt for restoring the Amun priesthood after the death of his presumed heretic father, Akhenaten. However, this was almost certainly the work of Aye and General Horemhab, who could have even resented Tut receiving all the glory of their work.

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Finally, there was the issue of King Tut's widow, Ankhespaton, who was apparently forced to marry Aye after King Tut's death. Only a short time later, she disappeared from the annals of history, leading to speculation that she too might have been murdered.
These circumstances all contribute to an ancient mystery, and much intrigue, a situation that was not completely uncommon in the Egyptian royal court. Attempts had, and would be made to murder pharaohs, a few of which were successful. Usually, these seem to have been plots within the harem with the goal of elevating one wife's son to the throne over another's.
Now we are told, in absolute terms, that King Tut died by natural causes. However, lets take a little closer look.

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One of the most interesting aspects of Egyptology is that various scholars very frequently present their interpretation of events as absolute, and particularly in books or releases to the general public, neglect to reveal opposing views. This occurs all the time, frequently with one expert asserting absolutely one conclusion, while another asserting absolutely a completely different conclusion. For example, debates continue to rage over who was actually King Menes, the founder of the 1st ancient Egyptian Dynasty, with some scholars stating unequivocally that it was Aha, with others still believing it to have been Narmer.
In the case of King Tut, one must first remember that his mummy is not in very good condition today. When Carter discovered it, his team basically dismantled the corpse while looking for amulets and other jewelry. Furthermore, many of its parts present at the original examination by Carter are now missing, and both skin and bones were broken in numerous places, supposedly also by the Carter team.
Dr. Zahi Hawass, the Director of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), makes some interesting comments about the most recent findings on King Tut. Though he seems to mostly be in agreement with these findings, he states, for example, that, "...some (not all) team members interpreted a fracture in the left thighbone as evidence for the possibility that Tutankhamun broke his leg badly just before he died".

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He goes on to explain that:
"The team has noted a fracture of the left lower femur (thighbone), at the level of the epiphyseal plate. This fracture appears different from the many breaks caused by Carters team: it has ragged rather than sharp edges, and there are two layers of embalming material present inside. Part of the team believes that the embalming material indicates that this can only have occurred during life or during the embalming process, and cannot have been caused by Carters team. They note that this type of fracture, unlike most of the others, is possible in young men in their late teens, and argue that it is most likely that this happened during life. There is no obvious evidence for healing (although there may be some present, and masked by the embalming material). Since the associated skin wound would still have been open, this fracture would have had to occur a short time, days at the most, before death. Carters team had noted that the patella (kneecap) on this leg was loose (now it is completely separated, and has in fact, been wrapped with the left hand), possibly suggesting further damage to this area of the body. The part of the team that subscribes to this theory also notes a fracture of the right patella and right lower leg. Based on this evidence, they suggest the king may have suffered an accident in which he broke his leg badly, leaving an open wound. Although the break itself would not have been life-threatening, infection might have set in. However, this part of the team believes it also possible, although less likely, that this fracture was caused by the embalmers".

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"Part of the team believes that the above scenario is absolutely not possible. They maintain that the fracture mentioned above can only have been done by Carters team during extraction of the body from the coffin. They argue that if such a fracture had been suffered in life, there would have been evidence for hemorrhage or hematoma present in the CT scan. They believe the embalming liquid was pushed into the fracture by Carters team".

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However, one of the main reasons that murder has ragged on as a possible cause of King Tut's death is because of a fracture to the back of his head. Revealed in an X-ray of his mummy made by the University of Liverpool, a trauma specialist at Long Island University in the US theorized that the blow was not caused by an accident. However, according to Dr. Hawass,
"The entire team agrees that there is NO evidence for murder present in the skull of Tutankhamun. There is NO area on the back of the skull that indicates a partially healed blow. There are two bone fragments loose in the skull. These cannot possibly have been from an injury from before death, as they would have become stuck in the embalming material. The scientific team has matched these pieces to the fractured cervical vertebra and foramen magnum, and believes these were broken either during the embalming process or by Carters team".

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So, while some recent news coverage seems to indicate that all of the questions surrounding Tutankhamun's death have now been answered, at least for some scholars, they have not. Perhaps, once all the results of the recent CAT scan have been released, everyone may be in agreement, but there still seems to be some question, at least according to Dr. Hawass, that at least some of the team that examined the CAT scans disagree with the absolute finding that gangrene caused by a broken leg caused King Tut's death.
In fact, Dr. Hawass does reveal in recent media that we are not really completely sure how King Tut died, but that we know it was not murder. We have always had the utmost respect for Dr. Hawass, as we continue to have, but it was long suggested as a hypothesis that King Tut may have been poisoned, so in fact, if we are not certain as to how he died, then murder cannot yet be ruled out.

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Works Cited 
"Tutankhamen." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Research in Context. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.

"Frail And Sickly, King Tut Suffered Through Life." All Things Considered 16 Feb. 2010. Research in Context. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.

"King Tut's Chariot On Display In New York."
Morning Edition 4 Aug. 2010. Research in Context. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.

Seiden, Ellen. "The curse of King Tut." Calliope Oct. 2013: 38+. Research in Context. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.

"Who else is buried in King Tut's tomb? Perhaps a queen, says one Egyptologist." Christian Science Monitor 29 Nov. 2015. Research in Context. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.

Tutankhamen." Britannica Biographies (2012): 1. Biography Reference Center. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.

"Ankhesenamen." Britannica Biographies (2012): 1. Biography Reference Center. Web. 5 Feb. 2016.

Lesko, Leonard H. "Tutankhamun." World Book Student. World Book, 2016. Web. 5 Feb. 2016., Editors. "King Tut Biography." A&E Networks Television. Web. 09 Feb. 2016.

Other sources:

Though it seems that Akhenaten must have been King Tut's father, much less evidence exists as to his mother. However, a degree of informed speculation is possible. For example, we can probably eliminate Nefertiti, since she appears to have provided her husband, Akhenaten, with no sons. Of course, she was not his only wife. Among the king's secondary wives and concubines, one in particular stands out. She is lady Kiya, identified by some with the Mitannian princess Tadukhepa, daughter of Tushratta, sent to Egypt to cement treaty relations between the two countries at the start of the reign.
Kiya is peculiarly prominent in the sculptural record at el-Amarna and her special position in the king's favor is reflected in her unique title, "Greatly Beloved Wife". In a number of Amarna reliefs, Kiya is shown in the company of a daughter. Many believe that she might have also borne a son. Chronological considerations by no means rule out the possibility. There are indications that Kiya was a favorite of the Amarna court prior to years nine and ten of Akhenaten's reign, but after year eleven, about the time of Tutankhamun's birth, she disappears from the the record and her monuments at el-Amarna were appropriated by Nefertiti's daughter, Meritaten. One possible explanation is that Kiya died in childbirth, as a fragmentary mourning scene in Akhenaten's tomb perhaps suggests.
However, it is equally possible that Kiya fell from grace, the victim of court intrigue engineered by the jealous Nefertiti. Indeed, it may be no coincidence that the meteoric rise in the status of Nefertiti seems to have begun in earnest only after Kiya's disappearance.
Irregardless of his mother's identity, Tutankhamun came to the throne in about 1333 BC, then a young child still burdened with the name, Tutankhaten. He married Ankhesenpaaten, the somewhat older third daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, a match perhaps made to unite opposing royal factions. He would rule Egypt for only nine or so years, though there can be little doubt that for most of this time, the reigns of the government were firmly in the hands of others, such as Ay, his successor and perhaps a relative of the king, and General Horemheb, who would succeed Ay to the throne.

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Hard facts related to Tutankhamun's reign are few, but it is clear that the principal event of his reign related to the reestablishment of the traditional Egyptian religion, as well as the relocation of the Capital back to Memphis and the reestablishment of the country's religious center at Thebes. When the royal couple abandoned the "aten" forms of their name during year two of the king's reign, it signaled the formal resurgence of Amun, away from the worship of Aten, and the traditional pantheon. Promulgated by a decree at Memphis and recorded in the retrospectively dated "Restoration Stela", this one event marks the reign as pivotal to the subsequent course of Egyptian History.
Hence, while it is frequently said that Tutankhamun was a relatively insignificant king (we too have been guilty of this), despite the wealth of his tomb, his reign was not. Whether the changes that were brought about were his, Ay's or Horemheb's, his was a very important time in the history of Egypt.