Fact Check

Are the Pyramids So Old Even King Tut Might Have Considered Them Ancient?

Known as the “boy king,” Tutankhamun died mysteriously at the age of 19.

Published Nov 26, 2023

 (Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons)
Image Via Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons
The pyramids are so old that even King Tut might have called them “ancient.”

For three millennia, ancient Egypt reigned as one of the world's most advanced and powerful societies. To this day, artifacts and constructions showcasing the wealth, knowledge, and influence of the bygone civilization are preserved and housed in institutions around the world. Intertwined with Egypt's history are the stories of King Tutankhamun and the erection of the pyramids of Giza.

One tidbit of trivia that has circulated in online discussions holds that the pyramids are so old that even King Tut "would most likely have referred to them as ancient.'" A version of the claim originated in a slideshow shared to the entertainment website eBaum’s World on Dec. 25, 2018, (archived here):

(Screenshot/eBaum's World)

Though "ancient" is a relative term that may differ from person to person, and nobody can determine for sure what King Tut would have considered ancient, the pyramids outdate the boy king by a thousand years.

As monuments to house the tombs of pharaohs, the three pyramids of Giza were constructed between 2250 and 2490 B.C. – an estimated 4,500 years ago, according to the National Geographic Society.

Records indicate that Tutankhamun was born in 1341 B.C. and died at the age of 18 or 19 in 1323 B.C. after having reigned as the Egyptian pharaoh for roughly nine years, according to the British Museum. Before his mysterious death, Tut lived in the 18th Dynasty of ancient Egypt’s New Kingdom over 3,300 years ago, according to the Egypt Exploration Society.

That means that the pyramids were roughly 1,000 years old at the time of King Tut’s birth. Given that the University College of London estimates that the life expectancy of ancient Egyptians was just over 30 years old, it’s entirely possible that King Tut may have considered the pyramids “ancient.”


Old Age in Ancient Egypt | UCL Researchers in Museums. https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/researchers-in-museums/2015/03/02/old-age-in-ancient-egypt/. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.

“Pyramids of Giza | National Geographic.” History, 21 Jan. 2017, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/giza-pyramids.

Society, The Egypt Exploration. Tutankhamun. https://www.ees.ac.uk/resource/tutankhamun.html. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.

solidsnake4545. 22 Odd History Facts That Go Waaay Back. https://www.ebaumsworld.com/pictures/22-odd-history-facts-that-go-waaay-back/85844312/. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.

Tutankhamun: Ancient and Modern Perspectives | British Museum. https://www.britishmuseum.org/visit/object-trails/tutankhamun-ancient-and-modern-perspectives. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.

Madison Dapcevich is a freelance contributor for Snopes.