circa 1341 BCE — Tutankhamun born

Tutankhamun, the boy king, was considerably less important in history than his prominence in our time would indicate. The boy king died at just the age where he could actually start to rule in his own name, apparently killed by those who had run the kingdom in his name since the death of his controversial father.

Akhenaten, the father of Tut and his predecessor as pharoah, had attempted to reform Egypt’s religion, turning from the traditional pantheon of deities headed by Osiris and Isis to a more monotheistic worship of the sun god Aten. Like his son, he too seems to have been murdered, and the major events of Tutankhamun’s reign aside from his coronation and death concerned the rolling back of his father’s changes and the re-establishment of the traditional priest class’ rulership of the kingdom.

Referenced in:

King Tut — Steve Martin and the Toot Uncommons

1922 — Carter and Carnavon find King Tut’s tomb

If not the greatest archeaological find of the Twentieth Century, certainly the best known. King Tut – well, Tutankhamum really – was a little known and fairly unimportant Pharaoh historically, but his tomb is one of the best preserved ever found, and has been extremely influential in how we view Pharaonic Egypt.

Howard Carter and his sponsor, George Herbert, Lord Carnavon, had spent lots of money and nearly a decade searching for the tomb of the boy king, and Carnavon had started to lose hope. 1922 was to be the last year he funded Carter – it turned out to be the last year he needed to. It took a decade to finish cataloging the tomb and removing the artifacts from it. Since their discovery, various collections of Tutankhamun artifacts have been almost constantly on tour around the world.

Referenced in:

King Tut — Steve Martin and the Toot Uncommons