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King Tut and Ankhesenamun - A Royal Pair

King Tut and Ankhesenamun, His Wife Ancient Places and/or Civilizations History Social Studies Visual Arts

Tutankhamun was married to Ankhesenamun. This photo depicts the couple as they appear on the lid of a box found in King Tut's tomb. It shows Tut's wife giving her husband some flowers.

Scholars believe that Tut's wife was the daughter of Queen Nefertiti. She may also have been her husband's half-sister.  Dr. Zahi Hawass —appointed to an Egyptian cabinet position (minister of antiquities) during the unrest of 2011—tells us more about this young queen:

Born as Ankhesenpaaten around 1348 BC, she was the third daughter of the Pharaoh Akhenaten and Nefertiti.

She probably changed her name into Ankhesenamun when she became the Great Royal Wife of Tutankhamun, most likely her half brother, at the age of 13.

Hawass believed that he and his team may have found the tomb of Ankhesenamun—known as KV64—which is slated for exploration during 2011.

In the summer of 2017, however, Hawass made another announcement. As the leader of an Italian excavation team, in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, he and his fellow archaeologists believe they may have located the remains of Ankhesenamun entombed in a previously uncovered burial chamber near the tomb of Pharaoh Ay.

After Tut died, Ankhesenamun married Ay (her grandfather/great-uncle). This was not an unusual marriage for an Egyptian royal, at the time, anymore than it was unusual for Ankhesenamun to marry her half-brother Tut. (Historians believe that Tut and his wife shared the same father but had different mothers.)

Ay became Pharaoh after Tut’s unexpected death and reigned between 1327 and 1323 BC. Mystery surrounds Ankhesenamun, though. After Tut died, she seems to have abruptly disappeared from Egypt’s historical records.

There is also some mystery about the newly discovered burial chamber. Although archaeologists have found tools, pottery and the remains of food in the burial chamber, they are not-yet sure whether the chamber also contains mummified human remains.

Zahi Hawass described the findings to Live Science:

We are sure there is a tomb there, but we do not know for sure to whom it belongs.

We are sure there is a tomb hidden in that area because I found four foundation deposits whenever they started a tomb’s construction.

What are those “foundation deposits?” Hawass continues:

[They are] caches or holes in the ground that were filled with votive objects such as pottery vessels, food remains and other tools as a sign that a tomb construction is being initiated.

The ancient Egyptians usually did four or five foundation deposits whenever they started a tomb's construction.

Using scientific instruments in their search, such as radar, Hawass and his colleagues believe they may have found a tomb entrance near the tomb of Pharaoh Ay:

The radar did detect a substructure that could be the entrance of a tomb.

Hawass is seeking permission to excavate, enter and examine whatever is inside the burial chamber.

In short ... stay tuned as the search for Ankhesenamun continues.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 23, 2017

Updated Last Revision: Aug 23, 2017


Media Credits

Public-domain image of Tut and his wife, from the lid of a box found in King Tut's tomb, online courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

 

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