On 4 November 1922, Howard Carter discovered a flight of steps leading down to the long-lost tomb of the little-known 18th Dynasty king, Tutankhamen. The tomb was virtually intact and Tutankhamen's mummified body still lay inside, surrounded by grave goods.
This was by no means the first royal mummy to be discovered, nor the most important, yet Tutankhamen quickly became a celebrity and Egyptology acquired a popular appeal that was reflected beyond the academic world in fashion, architecture and fiction. Meanwhile, in Egypt, an increasingly independent country struggling to enter the modern world, the discovery raised questions about colonialism and the ownership of Egypt's past.
Almost a century after the great discovery, Tutankhamen is undoubtedly ancient Egypt's most famous king. But what do we actually know about Tutankhamen, king of Egypt, his family and his relatively brief reign? This short course explores the life and times of Tutankhamen, drawing upon a combination of archaeological, textual and biomedical evidence to reconstruct a still developing story.
Week 1 - Tutankhamen in Context: the Late 18th Dynasty
Week 2 - The Discovery of Tutankhamen's Tomb
Week 3 - Tutankhamen's Grave Goods
Week 4 - Finding a Family for Tutankhamen
Week 5 - The Life and Death of an Egyptian King
Week 6 - Egyptian Curses: Ancient and Modern