KS2 Music: Ancient Egypt. Song: 'Out of the gloom, Tutankhamun'

The song and other video content covers what we know about the life and death of Tutankhamun and the discovery of his tomb by Howard Carter in 1922.

Refer to the Teacher's Notes for more information about the song, including follow-up music activities based on it and suggestions for cross-curricular study.

Who was Tutankhamun? How do we know about him?

King Tutankhamun

The video gives pupils an understanding of the life and death of Tutankhamun, who became pharaoh aged about eight years old and who died when he was about 18. It explains how we have been able to find out about life in Ancient Egypt by the things that were buried with pharaohs, like Tutankhamun.

We learn about the discovery of his tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter and his team and we explore a key artefact called a shabti - small statues that were buried with the pharaohs, which tell us about the beliefs and rituals of the Ancient Egyptian people.

The video also explores the difficulties King Tutankhamun had with regard to his mobility, due to a misshapen foot and curved spine, and the reported difficulties he had in managing his anger!

Hussein - The Water Carrier

The animation follows 12-year-old Hussein, a water carrier working at Howard Carter's excavations in the ‘Valley of the Kings’ in 1922. It reveals Hussein’s role in discovering the tomb of King Tutankhamun. We hear how Hussein uncovered a stone which was the first of a number of steps leading to the entrance of the tomb.

Our character Hussein is based on the real-life figure Hussein Abdul-Rasoul. There is a photograph of Hussein wearing a necklace from Tutankhamun's tomb and in his diaries Carter wrote that the child had been chosen as the model for the photograph in recognition of his important role in the discovery of the tomb. Hussein maintained in later life that his contribution was to uncover the very first step leading to the tomb and, although Carter's diaries do not confirm this be the case, it has been widely accepted as most likely true.

Hussein shows us inside the excavated tomb and tells us how it felt to be a part of such a special discovery, which found the majority of items and artefacts untouched for 3,000 years.


Song: 'Out of the gloom, Tutankhamun' - Instrumental

Teacher's Notes
Out of the gloom, Tutankhamun - Lyrics
Out of the gloom, Tutankhamun - Music
Download audio
King Tutankhamun's mask

More from KS2 Music: Ancient Egypt

So many gods and goddesses
Amulets and hieroglyphs
Living, living River Nile