Tutankhamun, or better known as King Tut, is an 18th dynasty pharaoh who inherited the throne at a young age. His reign was short-lived and upon his death he quickly faded into the sands of Egypt. Once forgotten, King Tut now remains one of Egypt’s grandest icons.
King Tut was born in 1341 BC. The pharaoh Akhenaten, his probable father, had introduced quasi-monotheistic beliefs into ancient Egypt, replacing the traditional religion. The Egyptians had a history of worshiping many gods. Akhenaten abolished worship of any god other than Akhenaten and moved both the administrative capital (Memphis) and religious capital (Thebes) to Akhetaten (modern Tel el Amarna) in Middle Egypt.
It is here that this young prince, named Tutankhaten - to honor Aten, the deity of his new religion - was born and spent his early childhood. The prince, however, ultimately did not maintain the religious movement his father introduced.
He ascended the throne (around 1333 BCE), while still a child only 9 years old. Guided by two officials of the court, Tutankhamun restored the traditional gods and re-established Thebes as the religious capital and Memphis as the administrative capital. He also changed his name to Tutankhamun in order to direct attention to the god Amun.
King Tut reigned for only about nine years, as he died in his late teens, either 18 or 19 years old.
Tutankhamun reversed several changes made during his father's reign. He ended the worship of the god Aten and restored the god Amun to supremacy. The ban on the cult of Amun was lifted and traditional privileges were restored to its priesthood. The capital was moved back to Thebes and the city of Akhetaten abandoned. This is also when he changed his name to Tutankhamun.
As part of his restoration, the king initiated building projects, in particular at Thebes and Karnak, where he dedicated a temple to Amun. Many monuments were erected, and an inscription on his tomb door declares the king had "spent his life in fashioning the images of the gods".