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Why was King Tut important to Egypt?

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Quick Answer

King Tut's importance to Egypt is primarily because of the search for his tomb and the spectacles found within it. He played a very minor role in the history of ancient Egypt, as his rule was short and uneventful.

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Full Answer

King Tut, or Tutankhamun, became king of Egypt at a very young age, when his father Akhenaten died. His rule lasted eight or nine years, from around 1361 B.C. to 1352 B.C. During this period, King Tut's primary accomplishment was restoring an Egyptian religion focused on the traditional Egyptian gods; his father had strayed from this tradition, instead advocating the worship of a single deity. King Tut's reign ended abruptly with his death at age 19. Because of his unexpected death, he was buried in a smaller tomb than was typical for a king.

King Tut was hardly thought about after his death, and the location of his tomb was forgotten. However, a team of British archaeologists began searching for his burial place in the early 20th century. They spent many years excavating archaeological sites in the Valley of Kings, and became aware of the boy king who was buried somewhere in the vicinity. In 1922, Howard Carter and George Herbert uncovered the tomb of King Tut, and found it remarkably intact. Many of the paintings on the wall appeared fresh, and artifacts from King Tut's life abounded. King Tut was found inside a golden coffin, his body impressively well-preserved. This excavation revealed one of the best-preserved examples of Egyptian culture, and resulted in the discovery of a bounty of priceless artifacts.

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