What Did King Tut Do During His Reign?

King Tutankhamun’s main accomplishment during his nine-year reign was the restoration of the old Amun religion, displacing King Akhnaten’s single-god Aten religion. Tut died when he was 18 or 19, and would have been almost entirely forgotten by history were it not for the discovery of his remarkably well-preserved tomb by Howard Carter in 1922.

It is likely that Tut acceded to the throne at the age of 9 after King Akhnaten was forced to abdicate, perhaps after the short rule of the shadowy King Smenkhare. Tut moved the royal court back to Thebes, away from the city of Amarna preferred by Akhnaten. Because of his youth, Tut’s advisers Ay and General Horemheb likely governed Egypt while Tut grew into his role.

There is evidence of great turmoil after Tut’s death. His wife Ankhesenamun wrote a letter to the king of the Hittites, requesting a royal son to marry so that she would not have to marry a commoner — likely Ay or Horemheb, both of whom acceded to the throne after Tut’s death, according to Bio. In the end, she married the old Ay as a second wife, but soon disappeared from history. Ay ruled for about four years, then was succeeded by his rival Horemheb. It was probably Horemheb who systematically destroyed all records of the Amarna dynasty that ended with Tut.