PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 January, 2011, 12:00am

The Boy King

These days it would not be possible for a young boy to rule a country. More than 3,000 years ago it did happen. A prince called Tutankhamun was about nine years old when his father died. The young prince became king.

King Tut, as he is sometimes called, ruled from 1336-1327 BC. He was quickly forgotten. But the discovery of his tomb made him very famous. His tomb was the best preserved royal tomb ever found.


In 1907, a team of archaeologists found a pit containing objects with Tutankhamun's name on them. They thought they had found the last Ancient Egyptian tomb.

But another archaeologist thought there was more. Howard Carter had been excavating in Egypt since 1891. He believed King Tut's tomb was still hidden.

Digging began

Carter began digging for the tomb in 1914. He had to stop during the first world war. He started again after the war. But he began to run out of money.

In 1922, his sponsor, Lord Carnavon, gave him money for one more season of digging.

On November 4, 1922, Carter's team found a step. When the stairway was cleared of sand, they found a door. The door had the royal stamp on it.

The excitement

Carter sent a telegram to Carnarvon telling him about the tomb. Carnarvon and his daughter Lady Evelyn Herbert left England for Egypt straight away.

On November 26, they accompanied Carter to the tomb door. He drilled a hole in the top corner of the door and looked in.

The gold, statues and other treasures he saw would prove to be some of the best examples of Ancient Egyptian artefacts ever found.

It took Carter and his team eight years to clear the treasures from the tomb. They were taken to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

World tours

The treasures toured the United States in the 1960s. Then the tour went to Japan. The artefacts were taken around the world in the 1970s and the 2000s.

Exhibitions of replicas are also popular. The first replica exhibition, a copy of the entire tomb, was built just a few years after the original was found.

Mysterious ending

Nobody knows how Tutunkhamun died. Some believe he was murdered. Another theory is that he died after falling from a carriage. Some say he was attacked by a hippo. Others still believe he may have died of malaria.

Scientists have proven that the king broke his leg shortly before he died. And a recent study proved he had malaria in his blood.

Now do this:

1 Which country did Tutankhamun rule?

a. Ethiopia

b. Egypt

c. England

2 Who was the first person to look inside King Tut's tomb after it was discovered?

a. Lord Carnarvon

b. Lady Herbert

c. Howard Carter

3 When did the group step into the tomb?

a. November 4, 1922

b. November 26, 1922

c. November 26, 1914


1. b, 2. c, 3. b