Tutankhamun's Tomb

Explain what the contents of Tutankhamun's tomb demonstrate the role of the king in New Kingdom Egypt.

In the New Kingdom, the pharaoh was central to Egyptian life and culture therefore the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings was siginificant for understanding the New Kingdom of Egypt. As the living incarnation of Horus, the King played a significant role maintaining ma'at in the New Kingdom. Hennessey suggests that the King can be seen as an "all conquering Egyptian king" whom fulfilled the role of hunter, administrator, warrior and mediator with gods. Howard Carter's discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922 provides some insight into the role of king in New Kingdom Egypt. Prior to the discovery little was known about Tutankhamun, he was associated with the end of Atenism and the reign of Amun however little was known about his role as Pharaoh. The contents of his tomb such as the artefacts, decoration and Tutankhamun's mummified body identify with his role as ruler in the New Kingdom.

Historians consider that Tutankhamun, like other New Kingdom Kings, had to perform 4 main duties in order to maintain order in Egypt. These duties include the King as hunter, administrator, warrior and mediator with the gods. Various contents found in the tomb provided evidence for his role as King in these four duties. There is however no evidence in the tomb for Tutankhamen's role as builder however this role has been identified in the tombs of other pharaoh's at this time.  

The king displayed himself as a fearless hunter to represent the maintained ma'at and conquest of chaos, this emphasised his strength as a king. The Golden Fan that was found in the Burial Chamber provides evidence for his role as hunter, imprinted on each face of the palm of the fan are scenes of the king hunting ostriches. To further this there is an inscription on the handle of the fan states "ostrich feathers obtained by His Majesty when hunting in the desert east of...