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On November 4, 1922, a discovery in Egypt changed the world. British archaeologists found a step carved into stone and, by the end of the day, they had uncovered a whole staircase. Where this staircase lead? Into an ancient tomb, and in it was the mummified body of King Tutankhamun (known as King "Tut" for short). That’s right, we’re talking about King Tut’s mummy.
A sculpture that historians believe to be of King Tut's face. (STR/AFP/GettyImages)
If you think cleaning your room is hard, imagine having to rule a kingdom! King Tut was only 9 years old when his reign as pharaoh began, which is why he was given the nickname, the Boy King. Speaking of other names, Tutankhamun wasn’t even his original name — it was Tutankhaten until he changed it (but either way, we’d still be calling him King Tut!) While the Boy King ruled as pharaoh for 10 years, it's believed he had some help from an adult or two for the first few years since he was such a young leader. King Tut was only 18 when he died, but in his time he worked to restore temples and monuments, and relationships with other kingdoms.
A replica of King Tut's tomb and gold coffins. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)
While King Tut’s tomb was discovered on November 4, archaeologists didn’t explore inside until the 26th, but when they did, they found some serious treasure. One of the most special parts of King Tut’s tomb was just how untouched it was — even footprints made by the tomb’s builders were still there! So when archaeologists got inside, they found every item King Tut had been buried with (5,398 items, to be exact) still there with the Boy King. The most important and impressive find was King Tut himself, in his solid gold coffin that sat within two other outer coffins, but there was also lots of jewelry, a chariot, bow and arrow, food, and even underwear!
By the way, what kind of underwear do you think King Tut wore? ... Fruit of the tomb!
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Did you know that November 4 is actually King Tut Day? The fact that the tomb’s discovery was given its very own day shows just how important finding King Tut was to the whole world. Funnily enough, Tutankhamun's reign wasn't too memorable for Egyptians during his time, but all that changed in the afterlife when he became one of the most famous pharaohs ever! In 1922, ancient Egypt became the big trend in fashion, film, art, music and even furniture. There was even a name for the excited reaction to this discovery, “Tut-mania” — and we’re still nuts about Tut! From museum exhibits that continue to attract tons of people, to modern day movies and even the ancient Egyptian designs that go in and out of style every season, we can’t get enough of Tut.