1. Please send age and date of King Tut's death along with approximate wealth (in $$$).

The approximate age at which King Tutankhamun died has been established from the examination of his mummy (this, by the way, also showed that his height when alive was some 1.68 m - the mummy would have probably shrunk a little but an estimate can be made from the measurements of some of the large bones). Dr D.E. Derry who conducted the operation suggested that Tutankhamun was about 18 years old when he died. More recent studies have attempted to revise this and considered that he may have been a little older, up to some 25 years.

Inscriptions on pots found in Tutankhamun's tomb indicate that he died before he completed his 10th year on the Egyptian throne, so he was about 8 years old when he became king. Egyptologists do not quite agree on when exactly this would have been, but many of us believe that it was in 1336 BC, and that he died in 1327 BC.

The Egyptian Pharaoh (King) was, in theory, the owner of all the riches of Egypt, and this makes the estimate of his wealth rather difficult. You will get some idea of how much wealth was involved from the fact that the innermost of his coffins, made of sheet gold, weighed 110.4 kg. So just the metal used to make one of his coffins would be worth some one and a half million dollars these days (I hope I have calculated it correctly, I am not quite used to so much money). This does not take into acount the incalculable artistic and historic value of the object and so we can safely say that if such a coffin was offered for sale these days, no museum in the world would be able to afford buying it.

Tutankhamun's inner coffin, made of gold, in Cairo, Egyptian Museum, JE 60671. H. Burton photo. 719C(1). Copyright Griffith Institute, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

(September 20, 1996)


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