TUTANKHAMEN 1341 B.C. – 1323 B.C.
The figurine represents the Egyptian sovereign Tutankhamen standing next to a throne. The throne is a faithful in-scale reproduction of the one covered in gold found in the tomb of the Pharaoh. This sovereign owes his fame to the discovery of his tomb in the Valley of the Kings in 1922 by the archaeologist Howard Carter. The Pharaoh’s sarcophagus with its grave goods and all its rich finds is exhibited today in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Tutankhamen was an Egyptian pharaoh of the XVIII dynasty and the son of Amenhotep IV. He lived between 1341 and 1323 B.C. At birth he was called Tutankhaten, that is, living image of Aten. Aten was a sun god, represented as a luminous sphere. The cult of the god Aten had been imposed by the Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, who revolutionised Egyptian religion, uniting all the divinities under one god. Amenhotep IV, after changing his name to Akenaten – he who is useful to Aten, moved the capital from Thebes to a new city that he had had built, called Akhet-Aten, today’s El-Amarna, and it was in this city that he concentrated the cult of Aten. By this action he incurred the anger of the clergy of Thebes who were responsible for the cult of Amun, because the faithful paid money to Aten and no longer into the coffers of the clergy of Amen, the warrior god, who up to then had been one of the chief divinities in Egyptian religion. Although he was considered a minor sovereign, the young Tutankhaten, probably manipulated by the clergy, once on the throne, gave back the priests’ privileges, moved the court from Akhet-Aten to Thebes which became once more the capital, and changed his name to Tutankhamun, which means living image of Amun. One must remember that, in Egyptian tradition, the Pharaoh’s nature was divine.
Tutankhamun’s reign, however, was short-lived. The King was very young when he died due to the aftermaths of a hunting accident. A 2005 analysis of Tutankhamun’s mummy confirmed that gangrene developing after the fracture of his left femur was the cause of death. In 2007 the sarcophagus with the body of the Pharaoh was exhibited to the public for the first time. Then, in 2010 further studies brought to light evidence that the King had died at the age of nineteen of malaria and the aftermaths of fractures, probably caused by a fall from the carriage which had been found in the tomb.
Historical research and translation: Riccardo Carrabino