King Tutankhamen, or King Tut as he is affectionately known, inspired public interest in Ancient Egypt when his tomb was discovered in 1922. The Pharaoh’s intact burial place housed his intricate golden sarcophagus, which till today remains an unmistakable symbol of Egypt’s rich heritage. And yet, many details of the mysterious Pharaoh’s life, who died at the young age of 19, have been lost to the annals of history. One Egyptologist at Canada’s Universite du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM) has now claimed to have made a breakthrough discovery, which sheds more light onto the earliest years of King Tut’s life.
Until recently, historians and researchers have agreed the throne of Egypt was held by a Queen when Tutankhamen himself was too young to rule.
But there was little agreement as to who this Queen was and what her relationship to Tutankhamen was.
When King Tut’s father Akhenaten died, the Pharaoh-to-be was only four to five-years-old.
Some theories propose Akhenaten’s wife Nefertiti snatched the throne and proclaimed herself Queen of Egypt.
Other historians have postulated Akhenaten’s eldest daughter Princess Meritaten stepped up to the throne to fill the power vacuum.
However, Dr Valerie Angenot from UQAM has instead proposed a radical theory concerning two of Tutankhamen’s six sisters.
According to the Canadian researcher, analysis of Ancient Egyptian symbols indicate the throne was jointly held by two Queens before Tutankhamen.
The Egyptologist said: “Egyptology is a very conservative discipline, but my idea was surprisingly well received, except for two colleagues who fiercely opposed.”
King Akhenaten had six daughters in total and according to the new theory, he groomed Princess Meritaten and Neferneferuaten Tasherit to take over the throne one day.
Dr Angenot has argued the two rulers ascended to the throne under one common name.
The theory was presented at an annual conference of the American Research Center in Egypt in Alexandria, Virginia in the US.
King Tutankhamen was an Egyptian Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty during a prosperous time known as the New Kingdom of Egypt.
The young Pharaoh is believed to have been an incredibly sickly child and was likely disabled to a lesser or greater extent.
DNA tests conducted on King Tut’s mummy in 2005 have found the eldest now example of malaria infection, which combined with his frail physique, likely killed him.
The Pharaoh was buried in the Valley of the Kings, where Pharaohs have been buried for nearly 500 years.
King Tut’s tomb was uncovered in 1922 by British archaeologist by Howard Carter.