Thursday, July 06, 2006

King Tut

Skipped out of work today at lunch to catch the Tut-ankh-amun exhibit at the Field Museum. It was a pretty good show, except that it didn't feature his sarcophagus. Don't know if it was a matter of security or what, but it was somewhat disappointing.

King Tut was the son of Akhen-aten, who is infamous for uprooting the traditional Egyptian polytheism and instilling a monotheistic worship of the Sun disk. Tut-ankh-amun reversed this decision and re-instated the traditional pantheon of Egypt.

As I was walking through this exhibit looking at the faces of these two pharaohs I could not help thinking about what was going through their mind. What would cause a pharaoh to abandon a religion that was at least 1000 years old by that point, forcefully demolish temples and statues, move his capital, and force his people into a new religion? And what caused his son to abandon his father's legacy, to go back to tradition? Was he forced to do this by the old priests or did he do this of his own volition? Did he have "issues" with his father and this was a way to "pay him back"?


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