Beast or Beauty?

Tutankhamun’s mother and father were sister and brother, his wife: his half-sister. As a result from an apparent long line of incestuous lineage, Tutankhamun had a hair lip and was crippled in his left foot. This is in stark difference to the majestic golden death mask left in his burial chamber.

There is now the theory that as the pharaoh died so young his crypt was a last minute affair. He was not buried within a valley hill (the fate of most pharaohs) but on the valley floor. This leads Egyptologists to consider that his chamber was originally meant for a non-royal but was hastily converted at Tutankhamun’s death. This brings me to the gilded death mask left in Tutankhamun’s burial site. There is now some speculation that it may not, in fact, be of the young pharaoh. Due to his unforseen departure, expensive and elaborate items may have been buried with king Tut that were not actually meant for him. At only 19 years of age, there was simply not enough to bury with him to be fitting of a pharaoh’s death. Although this is a contentious issue it leads us to a new question: who is the man behind the mask?

Incest was common among the Egyptian royal family. In particular children coming from sister and brother were seen as fortunate. They kept the wealth of the royal family within the family and they continued the way of the Egyptian gods, whom the pharaohs were chosen by.

 

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