Tutankhamun (/ˌtuːtənkɑːˈmuːn/, Ancient Egyptian: twt-ꜥnḫ-jmn), Egyptological pronunciation Tutankhamen (/ˌtuːtənˈkɑːmɛn/) (c. 1341 – c. 1323 BC), commonly referred to as King Tut, was an Egyptian pharaoh who was the last of his royal family to rule during the end of the 18th Dynasty (ruled c. 1332 – 1323 BC in the conventional chronology) during the New Kingdom of Egyptian history. His father is believed to be the pharaoh Akhenaten, identified as the mummy found in the tomb KV55. His mother is his father’s sister, identified through DNA testing as an unknown mummy referred to as “The Younger Lady” who was found in KV35.
Tutankhamun took the throne at eight or nine years of age under the unprecedented viziership of his eventual successor, Ay, to whom he may have been related. He married his paternal half-sister Ankhesenamun. During their marriage, they lost two daughters, one at 5–6 months of pregnancy and the other shortly after birth at full-term. His names—Tutankhaten and Tutankhamun—are thought to mean “Living image of Aten” and “Living image of Amun”, with Aten replaced by Amun after Akhenaten’s death. Many Egyptologists, including Battiscombe Gunn, believe the translation may be incorrect and closer to “The-life-of-Aten-is-pleasing” or, as Professor Gerhard Fecht believes, reads, “One-perfect-of-life-is-Aten”.
Tutankhamun restored the Ancient Egyptian religion after its dissolution by his father, enriched and endowed the priestly orders of two important cults and began restoring old monuments damaged during the previous Amarna period. He reburied his father’s remains in the Valley of the Kings and relocated the capital from Akhetaten back to Thebes. Tutankhamun was physically disabled with a deformity of his left foot along with bone necrosis that required the use of a cane, several of which were found in his tomb. He had other health issues, including scoliosis and had contracted several strains of malaria.
The 1922 discovery by Howard Carter of Tutankhamun’s nearly intact tomb, in excavations funded by Lord Carnarvon, received worldwide press coverage. With over 5,000 artefacts, it sparked a renewed public interest in ancient Egypt, for which Tutankhamun’s mask, now in the Egyptian Museum, remains a famous symbol. The deaths of a few involved in the discovery of Tutankhamun’s mummy have been attributed to the curse of the pharaohs. Some of his treasure has travelled worldwide with an unprecedented response; the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities allowed tours beginning in 1961. Since discovering his intact tomb, he has been referred to colloquially as “King Tut”.
Tutankhamun, whose original name was Tutankhaten or Tutankhuaten, was born during the reign of Akhenaten, during the late Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Akhenaten’s rule was characterized by a dramatic shift in ancient Egyptian religion, known as Atenism, and the relocation of the capital to the site of Amarna, which gave its name to the modern term for this era Amarna Period. Toward the end of the Amarna Period, two other pharaohs appear in the record who was Akhenaten’s co-regents: Neferneferuaten, a female ruler who may have been Akhenaten’s wife Nefertiti or his daughter Meritaten; and Smenkhkare, whom some Egyptologists believe was the same person as Neferneferuaten but most regard as a distinct figure. It is uncertain whether Smenkhkare’s reign outlasted Akhenaten’s. In contrast, Neferneferuaten is now thought to have become co-regent shortly before Akhenaten’s death and reigned for some time.
An inscription from Hermopolis refers to “Tutankhuaten” as a “king’s son”, and he is generally thought to have been the son of Akhenaten. However, some suggest instead that Smenkhkare was his father. Inscriptions from Tutankhamun’s reign treat him as a son of Akhenaten’s father, Amenhotep III, but that is only possible if Akhenaten’s 17-year reign included a long co-regency with his father, a possibility that many Egyptologists once supported but is now being abandoned.
While some suggestions have been made that Tutankhamun’s mother was Meketaten, the second daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, based on a relief from the Royal Tomb at Amarna,[a] this possibility had been deemed unlikely given that she was about ten years old at the time of her death. Another interpretation of the relief names Nefertiti as his mother.[b] Meritaten has also been put forward as his mother based on a re-examination of a box lid and coronation tunic found in his tomb. Tutankhamun was wet nursed by a woman named Maia, known from her tomb at Saqqara.
In 2008, a genetic analysis was carried out on the mummified remains of Tutankhamun and others thought or known to be New Kingdom royalty by a team from the University of Cairo. The results indicated that his father was the mummy from tomb KV55, identified as Akhenaten and that his mother was the mummy from tomb KV35, known as the “Younger Lady”, who was found to be a full sister of her husband. The team reported over 99.99 per cent certain that Amenhotep III was the father of the individual in KV55, who was, in turn, the father of Tutankhamun. A more recent genetic analysis, published in 2020, revealed Tutankhamun had the haplogroups YDNA R1b and mtDNA K, both of which originated in the Near East. He shares this Y-haplogroup with his father, the KV55 mummy (Akhenaten), and grandfather, Amenhotep III, and his mtDNA haplogroup with his mother, The Younger Lady, his grandmother, Tiye, and his great-grandmother, Thuya, upholding the results of the earlier genetic study. The profiles for Tutankhamun and Amenhotep III were incomplete, and the analysis produced differing probability figures despite having concordant allele results. Because the relationships of these two mummies with the KV55 mummy had previously been confirmed in an earlier study, the haplogroup prediction of both mummies could be derived from the complete profile of the KV55 data. The identity of The Younger Lady is unknown, but she cannot be Nefertiti, as she was not known to be a sister of Akhenaten. However, researchers such as Marc Gabolde and Aidan Dodson claim that Nefertiti was Tutankhamun’s mother. In this interpretation of the DNA results, the genetic closeness is not due to a brother-sister pairing. Still, the result of three generations of first-cousin marriage, making Nefertiti a first cousin of Akhenaten. The validity and reliability of the genetic data from mummified remains have been questioned due to possible decay.
When Tutankhaten became king, he married Ankhesenpaaten, one of Akhenaten’s daughters, who later changed her name to Ankhesenamun. They had two daughters, neither of whom survived infancy. While only an incomplete genetic profile was obtained from the two mummified foetuses, it was enough to confirm that Tutankhamun was their father. Likewise, only partial data for the two female mummies from KV21 has been obtained so far. KV21A has been suggested as the mother of the foetuses, but the data is not statistically significant enough to allow her to be securely identified as Ankhesenamun. Computed tomography studies published in 2011 revealed that one daughter was born prematurely at 5–6 months of pregnancy and the other at full-term, nine months. Tutankhamun’s death marked the end of the royal line of the 18th Dynasty.
Tutankhamun was between eight and nine when he ascended the throne and became pharaoh, taking the throne name Nebkheperure. He reigned for about nine years. During Tutankhamun’s reign, the position of Vizier had been split between Upper and Lower Egypt. The principal Vizier for Upper Egypt was Usermontu. Another figure named Pentju was also Vizier, but it is unclear which lands. It is not entirely known if Ay, Tutankhamun’s successor, actually held this position. A gold foil fragment from KV58 seems to indicate, but not indeed that Ay was referred to as a Priest of Maat along with an epithet of “vizier, doer of maat.” The epithet does not fit the usual description used by the regular Vizier but might indicate an informal title. It might be that Ay used the title of Vizier unprecedentedly.
An Egyptian priest named Manetho wrote a comprehensive history of ancient Egypt. He refers to a king named Orus, who ruled for 36 years and had a daughter named Acencheres, who reigned for twelve years and her brother Rathotis who ruled for only nine years. The Amarna rulers are central in the list, but researchers disagree upon which name corresponds with which historical figure. Orus and Acencheres have been identified with Horemheb, Akhenaten, and Rathotis with Tutankhamun. The names are also associated with Smenkhkare, Amenhotep III, Ay and the others in differing order.
Kings were venerated after their deaths through mortuary cults and associated temples. Tutankhamun was one of the few kings worshipped in this manner during his lifetime. A stela discovered at Karnak and dedicated to Amun-Ra and Tutankhamun indicates that the king could be appealed to in his deified state for forgiveness and to free the petitioner from an ailment caused by sin. Temples of his cult were built as far away as in Kawa and Faras in Nubia. The title of the sister of the Viceroy of Kush included a reference to the deified king, indicative of the universality of his cult.
For the pharaoh, who held divine office, to be linked to the people and the gods, particular epithets were created for them at their accession to the throne. The ancient Egyptian titulary also demonstrated one’s qualities and linked them to the terrestrial realm. The five names were developed over the centuries beginning with the Horus Name. Tutankhamun’s original nomen, Tutankhaten, did not have a Nebty name[e] or a Gold Falcon name associated with it, as nothing has been found with the full five-name protocol. Tutankhaten was believed to mean “Living-image-of-Aten” as far back as 1877; however, not all Egyptologists agree with this interpretation. English Egyptologist Battiscombe Gunn thought the older interpretation did not fit with Akhenaten’s theology. Gunn believed that such a name would have been blasphemous. He saw tut as a verb, not a noun, and gave his translation in 1926 as The-life-of-Aten-is-pleasing. Professor Gerhard Fecht also believed the word tut was a verb. He noted that Akhenaten used it as a word for ‘image’, not tut. Fecht translated the verb tut as “To be perfect/complete”. Using Aten as the subject, Fecht’s complete translation was “One-perfect-of-life-is-Aten”. The Hermopolis Block (two carved block fragments discovered in Ashmunein) has a unique spelling of the first nomen written as Tutankhuaten; it uses ankh as a verb, which does support the older translation of Living-image-of-Aten.
End of the Amarna period
Once crowned and after “taking counsel” with the god Amun, Tutankhamun made several endowments that enriched and added to the priestly numbers of the cults of Amun and Ptah. He commissioned new statues of the deities from the best metals and stone, had new processional barques made of the finest cedar from Lebanon, and had them embellished with gold and silver. The priests and all the attending dancers, singers and attendants had their positions restored and a decree of royal protection granted to ensure their future stability.
Tutankhamun’s second year as pharaoh began the return to the old Egyptian order. He renounced the god Aten, relegating it to obscurity and returned Egyptian religion to its polytheistic form. Both he and his queen removed ‘Aten’ from their names, replacing it with Amun and moved the capital from Akhetaten to Thebes. His first act as a pharaoh was to remove his father’s mummy from his tomb at Akhetaten and rebury it in the Valley of the Kings. This helped strengthen his reign. Tutankhamun rebuilt the stelae, shrines and buildings at Karnak. He added works to Luxor as well as began the restoration of other temples throughout Egypt that Akhenaten pillaged.
Campaigns, monuments, and construction
The country was economically weak and in turmoil following the reign of Akhenaten. Diplomatic relations with other kingdoms had been neglected, and Tutankhamun sought to restore them, particularly with Mitanni. Evidence of his success is suggested by the gifts from various countries found in his tomb. Despite his efforts for improved relations, battles with Nubians and Asiatics were recorded in his mortuary temple at Thebes. His tomb contained body armour, folding stools appropriate for military campaigns, and bows, and he was trained in archery. However, given his youth and physical disabilities, which seemed to require the use of a cane to walk, most historians speculate that he did not personally take part in these battles.
Given his age, the king probably had advisers, including Ay (who succeeded Tutankhamun) and General Horemheb, Ay’s possible son-in-law and successor. Horemheb records that the king appointed him “lord of the land” as a hereditary prince to maintain law. He also noted his ability to calm the young king when his temper flared.
In his third regnal year, Tutankhamun reversed several changes made during his father’s reign. He ended the worship of the god Aten and restored Amun to supremacy. The ban on the cult of Amun was lifted, and traditional privileges were restored to its priesthood. The capital was moved back to Thebes, and the city of Akhetaten was abandoned. As part of his restoration, the king initiated building projects, particularly at Karnak in Thebes, where he laid out the sphinx avenue leading to the temple of Mut. The sphinxes were initially made for Akhenaten and Nefertiti; they were given new ram heads and small statues of the king. At Luxor temple, he completed the decoration of the entrance colonnade of Amenhotep III. Monuments defaced under Akhenaten were restored, and new cult images of the god Amun were created. The traditional festivals were now celebrated again, including those related to the Apis Bull, Horemakhet, and Opet. His Restoration Stela erected in front of Karnak temple says:
The temples of the gods and goddesses … were in ruins. Their shrines were deserted and overgrown. Their sanctuaries were as non-existent, and their courts were used as roads … the gods turned their backs upon this land … If anyone made a prayer to a god for advice, he would never respond.
Tutankhamun’s construction projects were uncompleted at the time of his death and were completed by or usurped by his successors, especially Horemheb. His successor completed the sphinx avenue Ay and Horemheb usurped the whole. Horemheb usurped the Restoration Stele; pieces of the Temple-of-Nebkheperure-in-Thebes were recycled into Horemheb’s building projects. The Temple-of-Nebkheperure-Beloved-of-Amun-Who-Puts-Thebes-in-Order may be identical to a building called Temple-of-Nebkheperre-in-Thebes, a possible mortuary temple, used recycled talatat from Akhenaten’s east Karnak Aten temples indicating that the dismantling of these temples was already underway.
Tutankhamun’s construction projects were uncompleted at the time of his death and were completed by or usurped by his successors, especially Horemheb. His successor Ay completed the sphinx avenue, and Horemheb usurped the whole. Horemheb usurped the Restoration Stele; pieces of the Temple-of-Nebkheperure-in-Thebes were recycled into Horemheb’s building projects.
Health and death
Tutankhamun was slightly built and roughly 167 cm (5 ft 6 in) tall. He had large front incisors and an overbite characteristic of the Thutmosid royal line to which he belonged. Analysis of the clothing found in his tomb, particularly the dimensions of his loincloths and belts, indicates that he had a narrow waist and rounded hips. In attempts to explain both his unusual depiction in art and his early death, it has been theorised that Tutankhamun had gynecomastia, Marfan syndrome, Wilson–Turner X-linked intellectual disability syndrome, Fröhlich syndrome (adiposogenital dystrophy), Klinefelter syndrome, androgen insensitivity syndrome, aromatase excess syndrome in conjunction with sagittal craniosynostosis syndrome, Antley–Bixler syndrome or one of its variants. It has also been suggested that he had inherited temporal lobe epilepsy to explain the religiosity of his great-grandfather Thutmose IV and father Akhenaten and their early deaths. However, caution has been urged in this diagnosis.
In 1980, James Harris and Edward F. Wente conducted X-ray examinations of the New Kingdom Pharaoh’s crania and skeletal remains, which included the mummified remains of Tutankhamun. The authors determined that the royal mummies of the 18th Dynasty bore strong similarities to contemporary Nubians with slight differences.
In January 2005, Tutankhamun’s mummy was CT scanned. The results showed that the young king had a partially cleft hard palate and possibly a mild case of scoliosis. Additionally, he was diagnosed with a flat right foot with hypophalangism. In contrast, his left foot was clubbed and had bone necrosis of the second and third metatarsals (Freiberg disease or Köhler disease II). However, the clubfoot diagnosis is disputed. James Gamble suggests that the position results from Tutankhamun habitually walking on the outside of his foot due to the pain caused by Köhler disease II; members of Hawass’ team have refuted this theory. The condition may have forced Tutankhamun to walk with a cane, many of which were found in his tomb. Genetic testing through STR analysis rejected the hypothesis of gynecomastia and craniosynostoses (e.g., Antley–Bixler syndrome) or Marfan syndrome. Genetic testing for STEVOR, AMA1 or MSP1 genes specific for Plasmodium falciparum revealed indications of malaria tropica in 4 mummies, including Tutankhamun’s. This is currently the oldest known genetic proof of the ailment. The team discovered DNA from several parasite strains, indicating that he was repeatedly infected with the most severe strain of malaria. His malaria infections may have caused a fatal immune response in the body or triggered circulatory shock. The CT scan also showed that he had experienced a compound left leg fracture. This injury results from modern damage ruled out based on the ragged edges of the fracture; current damage features sharp edges. Embalming substances were present within the fracture, indicating that it was associated with an open wound; no signs of healing were present.
A facial reconstruction of Tutankhamun was carried out in 2005 by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities and National Geographic. Three teams—Egyptian, French, and American—worked separately to approximate the face of the boy king. While the Egyptian and French teams knew Tutankhamun’s subject, the American team worked blind. All teams produced very similar results, but it was that of the French team that was ultimately cast in silicone.
Cause of death
There are no surviving records of the circumstances of Tutankhamun’s death; it has been the subject of considerable debate and significant studies. Hawass and his team postulate that his death was likely the result of the combination of his multiple weakening disorders, a leg fracture, perhaps as the result of a fall, and severe malarial infection. However, Timmann and Meyer have argued that sickle cell anaemia better fits the pathologies exhibited by the king, a suggestion the Egyptian team has called “interesting and plausible.”
Murder by a blow to the head was theorised as a result of the 1968 x-ray, which showed two bone fragments inside the skull. This theory was disproved by further analysis of the x-rays and the CT scan. The inter-cranial bone fragments were determined to be the result of the modern unwrapping of the mummy as they are loose and not adherent to the embalming resin. No evidence of bone thinning or calcified membranes, which could be indicative of a fatal blow to the head, were found. It has also been suggested that the young king was killed in a chariot accident due to a pattern of crushing injuries, including the fact that the front part of his chest wall and ribs are missing. However, the missing ribs are unlikely to be a result of an injury sustained at the time of death; photographs taken after Carter’s excavation in 1926 show that the chest wall of the king was intact, still wearing a beaded collar with falcon-headed terminals. The absence of both the collar and chest wall was noted in the 1968 x-ray and further confirmed by the CT scan. Robbers likely removed the front part of his chest during the theft of the beaded collar; the intricately beaded skullcap the king was pictured wearing in 1926 was also missing by 1968.
Tutankhamun was buried in an unusually small tomb, considering his status. His death may have occurred unexpectedly, before the completion of a grander royal tomb, causing his mummy to be buried in a burial intended for someone else. This would preserve the observance of the 70 days between death and burial. His tomb was robbed at least twice in antiquity, but based on the items taken (including perishable oils and perfumes) and the evidence of restoration of the tomb after the intrusions. These robberies likely occurred within several months at most of the initial burial. The tomb’s location was lost because it had come to be buried by debris from subsequent tombs, and workers’ houses were built over the tomb entrance.
Theodore Davis held the concession rights for excavating the Valley of the Kings from 1905 until 1914. During that time, he unearthed ten tombs, including the nearly intact but non-royal tomb of Queen Tiye’s parents, Yuya and Thuya. As he continued working there in the later years, he uncovered nothing of major significance. Davis did find several objects in KV58 referring to Tutankhamun, which included knobs and handles bearing his name, most significantly the embalming cache of the king (KV54). He believed this to be the pharaoh’s lost tomb and published his findings with the line, “I fear the Valley of the Tombs is exhausted”. In 1907, Howard Carter was invited by William Garstin and Gaston Maspero to excavate for George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, in the Valley. The Earl of Carnarvon and Carter had hoped this would lead to their gaining the concession when Davis gave it up but had to be satisfied with excavations in different parts of the Theban Necropolis for seven more years.
After a systematic search, beginning in 1915, Carter discovered the actual tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62) in November 1922. By February 1923, the antechamber had been cleared of everything but two sentinel statues. A day and time were selected to unseal the tomb with about twenty appointed witnesses, including Lord Carnarvon, several Egyptian officials, museum representatives and the staff of the Government Press Bureau. On 17 February 1923, at just after two o’clock, the seal was broken.
There were 5,398 items in the tomb, including a solid gold coffin, face mask, thrones, archery bows, trumpets, a lotus chalice, two Imiut fetishes, and gold toe stalls, furniture, food, wine, sandals, and fresh linen underwear. Howard Carter took ten years to catalogue the items. Recent analysis suggests a dagger recovered from the tomb had an iron blade made from a meteorite; study of artefacts of the time, including other artefacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb, could provide valuable insights into metalworking technologies around the Mediterranean at the time. Tutankhamun’s burial goods are adapted for his use after being initially made for earlier owners, probably Smenkhkare or Neferneferuaten or both.
On 4 November 2007, 85 years after Carter’s discovery, Tutankhamun’s mummy was placed on display in his underground tomb at Luxor when the linen-wrapped mummy was removed from its golden sarcophagus to a climate-controlled glass box. The case was designed to prevent the high decomposition rate caused by the humidity and warmth from tourists visiting the tomb. In 2009, the Ministry of antiquities and the Getty Conservation Institute closed the tomb for restoration. While the closure was initially planned for five years to restore the walls affected by humidity, the Egyptian revolution of 2011 set the project back. The tomb re-opened in February 2019.
For many years, rumours of a “curse of the pharaohs” (probably fueled by newspapers seeking sales at the time of the discovery) persisted, emphasizing the early death of some of those who had entered the tomb. The most prominent was George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who died on 5 April 1923, five months after the discovery of the first step leading down to the tomb on 4 November 1922.
The cause of Carnarvon’s death was pneumonia supervening on [facial] erysipelas (a streptococcal infection of the skin and underlying soft tissue). The Earl had been in an automobile accident in 1901, making him very unhealthy and frail. His doctor recommended a warmer climate, so in 1903 the Carnarvons travelled to Egypt, where the Earl became interested in Egyptology. Along with the stresses of the excavation, Carnarvon was already in a weakened state when an infection led to pneumonia.
A study showed that of the 58 people who were present when the tomb and sarcophagus were opened, only eight died within a dozen years; Howard Carter died of lymphoma in 1939 at 64. The last survivors included Lady Evelyn Herbert, Lord Carnarvon’s daughter who was among the first people to enter the tomb after its discovery in November 1922, who lived for a further 57 years and died in 1980, and American archaeologist J.O. Kinnaman who died in 1961, 39 years after the event.
Tutankhamun’s fame is primarily the result of his well-preserved tomb and the global exhibitions of his associated artefacts. As Jon Manchip White writes in his foreword to the 1977 edition of Carter’s The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun, “The pharaoh who in life was one of the least esteemed of Egypt’s Pharaohs has become in death the most renowned”.
The discoveries in the tomb were prominent news in the 1920s. Tutankhamen came to be called by a modern neologism, “King Tut”. Ancient Egyptian references became common in popular culture, including Tin Pan Alley songs; the most popular of the latter was “Old King Tut” by Harry Von Tilzer from 1923, which was recorded by such prominent artists of the time as Jones & Hare and Sophie Tucker. “King Tut” became the name of products, businesses, and the pet dog of U.S. President Herbert Hoover. While The Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibit was touring the United States in 1978, comedian Steve Martin wrote a novelty song King Tut. Originally performed on Saturday Night Live, the song was released as a single and sold over a million copies.
Tutankhamun’s artefacts have travelled the world with unprecedented visitorship. The exhibitions began in 1962 when Algeria won its independence from France. With the ending of that conflict, the Louvre Museum in Paris was quickly able to arrange an exhibition of Tutankhamun’s treasures through Christiane Desroches Noblecourt. The French Egyptologist was already in Egypt as part of a UNESCO appointment. The French exhibit drew 1.2 million visitors. Noblecourt had also convinced the Egyptian Minister of Culture to allow British photographer George Rainbird to re-photograph the collection in colour. The new colour photos, as well as the Louvre exhibition, began a Tutankhamun revival.
In 1965, the Tutankhamun exhibit travelled to Tokyo National Museum in Tokyo, Japan (21 August–10 October), garnered more visitors than the future New York exhibit in 1979. The exhibit next moved to the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art in Kyoto (15 October–28 November) with almost 1.75 million visitors, and then to the Fukuoka Prefectural Cultural Hall in Fukuoka (3 December–26 December). The blockbuster attraction exceeded all other exhibitions of Tutankhamun’s treasures for the next 60 years. The Treasures of Tutankhamun tour ran from 1972 to 1979. This exhibition was first shown in London at the British Museum from 30 March until 30 September 1972. More than 1.6 million visitors saw the exhibition. The exhibition moved on to many other countries, including the United States, the Soviet Union, Japan, France, Canada, and West Germany. The Metropolitan Museum of Art organized the U.S. exhibition from 17 November 1976 to 15 April 1979. More than eight million attended.
In 2005, Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, in partnership with Arts and Exhibitions International and the National Geographic Society, launched a tour of Tutankhamun treasures and other 18th Dynasty funerary objects, this time called Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs. It featured the same exhibits as Tutankhamen: The Golden Hereafter in a slightly different format. It was expected to draw more than three million people but exceeded that with almost four million attending just the first four tour stops. The exhibition started in Los Angeles and then moved to Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Philadelphia and London before returning to Egypt in August 2008. An encore of the exhibition in the United States ran at the Dallas Museum of Art. After Dallas, the exhibition moved to the de Young Museum in San Francisco, followed by the Discovery Times Square Exposition in New York City.
The exhibition visited Australia for the first time, opening at the Melbourne Museum for its only Australian stop before Egypt’s treasures returned to Cairo in December 2011.
The exhibition included 80 exhibits from the reigns of Tutankhamun’s immediate predecessors in the 18th Dynasty, such as Hatshepsut, whose trade policies significantly increased the wealth of that Dynasty and enabled the lavish wealth of Tutankhamun’s burial artefacts, as well as 50 from Tutankhamun’s tomb. The exhibition did not include the gold mask that was a feature of the 1972–1979 tour, as the Egyptian government has decided that damage to previous artefacts on tours precludes this one from joining them.
In 2018, it was announced that the most extensive collection of Tutankhamun artefacts, amounting to forty per cent of the entire group, would be leaving Egypt again in 2019 for an international tour entitled; “King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh”. The 2019-2022 tour began with an exhibit called; “Tutankhamun, Pharaoh’s Treasures,” which launched in Los Angeles and then travelled to Paris. The exhibit featured at the Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris ran from March to September 2019. The exhibition featured one hundred and fifty gold coins, various pieces of jewellery, sculpture and carvings, and the renowned gold mask of Tutankhamun. Promotion of the exhibit filled the streets of Paris with event posters. The exhibition moved to London in November 2019 and was scheduled to travel to Boston and Sydney when the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the tour. On 28 August 2020, the artefacts that made up the temporary exhibition returned to the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, and other institutions. The treasures will be permanently housed in the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo, expected to open in November 2022.