• Imagining History

Tutankhamun: Who was he? A Speedy Guide for Kids

Updated: Apr 22

Who was Tutankhamun? Find out more about this famous Egyptian figure in his Pharaoh Profile:

Who's this Tutankhamun bloke then?

He was the Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt from between 1334 BC to 1325 BC. Tut was the last Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty.

He only ruled for 9 years?

That's right, he died from mysterious circumstances and his possible Great Uncle, Ay, ruled in his place.

How old was he when he became Pharaoh?

Only 8 or 9 years old, it's widely believed that Ay helped the young Pharaoh rule his kingdom.

Why is he so famous then?

That's because his treasure packed tomb and perfectly preserved remains were found in Valley of the Kings by Howard Carter in 1922. Everyone went Tut crazy and he was the next big thing!

Did he do a good job of being Pharaoh?

He certainly had a tough time of it. His father, Akhenaten, had made a right mess of Egypt: the country was broken and had fallen out of favour with most neighbouring kingdoms. Tutankhamun attempted to sort this out and be friends with these other kingdoms again. Chances are he managed to do just that - his tomb contained many gifts from other countries.

Was he a battling Pharaoh like Rameses the Great?

For a long time, Egyptologists would have said no to this because Tut walked with the assistance of a cane. However, new research shows he might have been a warrior after all. Tutankhamun had battle-worn armour in his tomb as well as a load of bows - perhaps he had been trained in archery? It was recorded that Egypt was involved in wars with both the Nubians and the Asiatics during Tut's reign, so perhaps the boy king was a boy warrior after all?

How did he die?

No-one knows for certain, though there's been lots of theories. It could have been due to multiple health issues, a broken leg or an infection, Some historians even speculated that he had been murdered, bashed over the head by Ay so he could rule instead. Find out some of the leading theories here.

What did he look like?

He was slight and quite short (though he wasn't unusually short for the period of history he lived in). How short? About Tom Cruise height we'd say. He had two rather large incisor teeth. That's the flat teeth at the front of our mouths. From looking at clothing in the tomb he also had a narrow waist and round hips.

No, I meant what did his face look like?

Ah, well you're in luck. In 2005 a French team created a reconstruction of Tutankhamun's face, here it is:


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Our Award-Winning sessions combine role-play, storytelling, demonstrations and drama and performance to bring history to life for your students.

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