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The death of Pharaoh On a balmy November day in 1922 one of the greatest archeological finds ever would be made It all started with the discovery of a single rough cut stone step the first in a staircase that would lead to the most celebrated tomb of modern times Howard Carters discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen would capture popular attention like no other discover before or after it With each item brought from the tomb the public wanted to know more and more about the boy-king of Egypt Probably the most intriguing and perplexing question surrounding the tomb is the mystery surrounding the death of the young Pharaoh It has been over three thousand and three hundred years since the interment of Tutankhamen Even with the discovery of the relatively intact tomb or knowledge of teh king is sketchy based upon a fragment here and a fragment there Howard Carter remarked after the discovery of the tob that We are getting to know to the last detail what he had but of what he was and what he did we are still sadly to seekCarter 11 Even so the evidence left to us down through three centuries paints a picture of intrigue and strife leading to a murder committed by a trusted courtier To understand the circumstances surrounding this murder we must start our investigation with the reign of Amenophis III the ninth king of the Eighteenth Dynasty and most probably the father of Tutankhamen see note 1 The one seed event of our tragic tale is Amenophis IIIs encouragement of the worship of the Aten or the sun disk As a sign of his reverence for the Aten he built a temple to the Aten and named his own private pleasure barge Splendour of Aten Desroches-Noblecourt 114-115 Egyptian pharaohs had ther idiosyncrasies like all people and were tolerated in the religious structure of Egypt as long as the structure
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