Tutankhamen was not a very influential Pharaoh. However his tomb has revealed significant information about the New Kingdom Egypt. When Tutankhamen moved the court back to Thebes, he turned his back to the Reforms of Amarna period. He was at a very young age therefore his decisions must have been under the advice of someone.
ROLE OF THE PHARAOH
The Pharaoh had many objectives throughout his life on the throne. These activities included keeping order of his people, religion and had many roles as a warrior and a ruler.
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Akhenaton’s religious beliefs did not last. His was where seen as heretic. When Tutankhamen came into power, within 10 years he restored all beliefs in the gods that Akhenaten ignored. This put all his followers behind him and gained him respect. This can be illustrated through the decorations in Tutankhamun’s tomb.
He was seen with various gods, which depicted he believed in number of gods that Akhenaten did not. Further more there were drawings and pictures of the god Hapi and statues of the gods Isis, Nephthys, Serqet and Neith protecting the body of the king. It was important that the Pharaoh had strong relation with the gods and his religion. This showed a power within the pharaoh and provided loyalty by the people of the kingdom.
He also had to be a ruler and keep his people in order. He did this through entertainments such as hunting. Evidence of this is found on his chest when he is hunting for animals. Hunting was a way of entertainment and to keep people please in the New kingdom Egypt. Hunting wild animals showed that there was none greater than the pharaoh. This secured his people’s belief and trust in him. There are also statues of the god of Water and Fertility (Hapi). This is an indication that Tutankhamen believed in this god. Therefore the fertility and wealth of the kingdom must have been good. The people of the kingdom had the pharaoh to thank to as a living god.
Tutankhamen was seen as a warrior in various drawings of him in his tomb. He was seen as a ruler and Ma’ar of the kingdom. Infact he is seen wearing the blue war crown of a pharaoh to indicate his relation with war and hunting. His rule over war and military is also demonstrated in the painting on the sides of his treasure chest, showing him either hunting wild animals or in battle. In the scene he is seen has fighting in a battle on his chariot, with his bow and arrows, he is shown has huge however his enemies much smaller. Tutankhamen was a great influence to his people in war. His ruling power was shown through his mask, which states him as a pharaoh. The mask is made of pure gold and has the two protective animals in it, the cobra and the vulture. However, Tutankhamen has never been involved in a war himself as there is no evidence of any battles.
Fashion, food, economies, entertainment and fundamental living ways were very advanced and crucial in the Egyptian Society.
The Egyptians usually wore white clothing, because white sustained coolness while black sustained heat. Their clothing was made from the stem of the flax plant. The clothing was a symbol of wealth as poor people and workers usually walked around naked and lived naked. Clothing also showed a man’s rank in the society, this depended on how elaborate his kilt was. Kings, gods and higher-class rulers usually wore colourful clothing this showed that they were noble and rich.
Therefore clothing performed the role of symbolism for wealth, rank and importance in the society. However as well as clothing, fashion was very crucial. In Tutankhamen’s tomb, there are bottles of perfumes made from pure coconut oil. This shows the class and quality of the society and it had already advanced to perfumes and make up. The pharaoh had all sorts of skin care in his tomb for after life. There was also food and water provided in Tutankhamen’s tomb for his travel, which indicated the type of food consumed. There was also money provided in the tomb, which indicated the type of currency used. The Egyptian life stile was unique and advanced to all other. Tomb of Tutankhamen help is illustrate the needs of Egyptian society and its unique fundamentals.
The burial customs of the ancient Egypt is very complex and symbolic. There are 3 aspects of a soul that the Egyptians believed in, the Kha, the Ba and the Akh. The mummification and burial of the pharaoh was crucial for the soul to keep safe and alive. The Egyptians would mummify someone in the belief that the body would be needed in the after life. The first process was the remove all moisture from the body so the body would not decay. After that his stomach, intestines and liver would be removed and put into special alabaster containers.
The heart was left in the body as it would be needed to be weighted in the afterlife. The body then would be wrapped up with over 143 items such as amulets and jewellery to protect the pharaoh in the afterlife. There is proof of the process painted on the walls of Tutankhamen’s tomb. The process of the mummification would take 70 days in total. The body then would be sealed in the pharaoh’s body shaped coffin. In fact the body was put into 3 coffins. 2 made out of wood and the final one pure gold. After 70 days of process, the pharaoh is taken to his tomb and receives the opening of the mouth ceremony. Finally the body is sealed and the gods are left alone with the pharaoh to protect the body.
RELIGION AND THE AFTERLIFE
The pharaoh’s religion was the most crucial part of his ruling time. He was considered a living god, therefore his way of living was a role model to those below him. The previous pharaoh before Tutankhamen disobeyed all gods but himself. This caused unhappiness in the public and when Tutankhamen came into power, he revived the religious beliefs of the kingdom. The Egyptians believed that in the afterlife, pharaohs would become gods and their hearts would be weighted in line with a feather, if the heart is heavier than the feather than the pharaohs would not gain access.
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