King Tutankhamen—or King Tut as he is more commonly known today—was relatively unknown to the world until 1922, when his tomb was discovered by Howard Carter. His tomb contained thousands of artifacts, a sarcophagus containing his mummy, and a now-famous headdress. It took Carter and his team almost ten years to catalog the contents of the tomb.
Tutankhamen was born around 1341 B.C.E. His name means “living image of Aten.” Aten was the name of the sun deity Tutankhamen's father and predecessor to power, Akhenaten, ordered his people to worship. When Akhenaten died, Tutankhamen took his place at just nine years old. Aided by advisers, King Tut reversed many of his father’s decisions. Under his rule, Egypt returned to polytheism. This “boy king” ruled for less than a decade; he died at age nineteen.
For many years it was believed that “the boy king” died of an infected broken leg. However, in 2010, scientists found traces of malaria parasites in Tutankhamun’s remains, indicating that malaria, perhaps in combination with degenerative bone disease, may have been the cause of death.
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