The Mysterious Story of Tutankhamun’s Wife That Many Archaeologists Were Puzzled Over

year ago

A lot of people have heard about Tutankhamun. There have been a lot of rumors about his personality since his tomb was discovered. Scientists did a lot of studies and ordinary people talked about the misfortunes that happened to those that opened the tomb. This buzz distracted the attention from another important historical figure — Tutankhamun’s wife, Ankhesenamun. We know about her thanks to the film The Mummy. But it turns out that the film is more fiction than the truth.

We at Bright Side decided to learn more about the woman who had been thought of as the lost Queen of Egypt for centuries.

  • In 1922, the world was shaken by the news of the discovery of an untouched tomb of Tutankhamun. Archaeologist Howard Carter was the lucky guy that found these unique artifacts.
  • During a thorough search of the contents of the tomb, Carter found mentions of Tutankhamun’s young wife — Queen Ankhesenamun. The name surprised Howard because he had never seen mention of this woman before. Carter was able to discover some details about the life of the young Queen.
  • Ankhesenamun was the 3rd daughter of Nefertiti and Akhenaten and she was named Ankhesenpaaten when she was born. She spent her childhood in the city her father built — Akhetaten, where there were also mentions of her.
  • After Akhenaten died, young Tutankhamun became King and married Ankhesenpaaten. Approximately 3 years later, the young pharaoh made a religious reform reestablishing the cult of Amun, so the Queen changed her name to Ankhesenamun. The young couple ruled Egypt for about 10 years.
  • Their union wasn’t just political. Tutankhamun and his wife loved each other. A lot of discoveries in the tomb point to the fact that they had a good relationship. For example, one of the murals shows the Queen giving the King beautiful lotuses.
  • The couple didn’t have kids. The 2 pregnancies Ankhesenamun had didn’t end well: 2 girls that were born prematurely didn’t survive. Their remains, buried with love and care, were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, near the base of his sarcophagus.
  • The young pharaoh himself suffered from scoliosis and was drawn with a cane in many murals. It’s not known what exactly led to the death of the King. Scientists think it might’ve been malaria or trauma caused by falling off a chariot. Tutankhamun died and Ankhesenamun was the last person from the royal family.
  • Tutankhamun died at the age of 19 and his young wife was a widow. She didn’t have time to give birth to an heir, so she dared to get married again to retain her seat and protect herself from the schemes of other people who were thirsty for power.
  • The best option for a husband seemed the first counselor and Tutankhamun’s mentor Ay. But Ankhesenamun didn’t want to get married to an old bureaucrat. According to one of the versions, she wrote to the King of Hittes to ask him to send one of his sons to become her husband. She said she wouldn’t marry any one of her servants.
  • The King of Hittes was happy and sent one of his sons to marry Ankhesenamun. Historians couldn’t find out what happened to the prince. It’s known that he died on his way to his bride. It’s possible that he fell victim to the plotters that didn’t want the Hittes to be anywhere near the Egyptian throne.
  • Ankhesenamun had no other choice but to marry Ay. The rings with their names on them that archaeologists found prove this. The ex-counselor got what he wanted — the throne, and he became the pharaoh. After that, Ankhesenamun’s story mysteriously ends. All other discoveries show that Ay married a woman named Tey. In his tomb, she was the only one who was mentioned as his wife.
  • Not far from Tutankhamun’s tomb, there was another tomb. A woman’s things, jewelry, and other artifacts showed that the tomb was prepared for Ankhesenamun but her remains weren’t found there.
  • At the beginning of the 19th century, archaeologists found a tomb with 2 woman’s mummies. For more than a hundred years, the remains weren’t identified until scientists did a DNA test in 2010. Based on the results, they think that one of the mummies could be the biological mother of the girls found in Tutankhamun’s tomb. So, it’s possible that these are the remains of Ankhesenamun.
  • The look of the Queen has been used in movies several times. Her most famous movie image was in The Mummy (1999). But the creators of the film changed her story and made her a negative character that has nothing to do with the real person.
  • Ankhesenamun lived a short life full of tragic events. But despite all of her misfortunes, she was a loving wife and until the end of her life, she retained the dignity and pride she inherited from her great parents.

Have you heard of Ankhesenamun before? Do you think that her biography deserves to be in the same line as the stories of Cleopatra and Nefertiti?


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