An ancient Egyptian king named Tutankhamun, sometimes known as King Tut or King Tu, was buried in a luxurious tomb in the Valley of the Kings, not far from present-day Luxor, that was adorned with gold items. An archaeological team headed by British Egyptologist Howard Carter found his tomb in 1922.
Because he assumed the throne in the 14th century B.C. at the age of 9 or 10, he is now occasionally referred to as the “boy-king.” A decade later, he passed away. Given that most of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings had been robbed in antiquity, it is remarkable that his treasure-filled tomb was found mostly intact.
The 1922 discovery of his tomb drew international attention and made King Tut a household figure. In her book “Treasured: How Tutankhamun Shaped a Century,” history professor Christina Riggs of Durham University in England argued that it was “impossible to envisage the previous century without Tutankhamun and the discovery of that time-capsule tomb” (Atlantic Books, 2021).
At What Age He Died?
The “boy king,” Tutankhamun, who ruled for fewer than ten years, passed away at the age of 19.
King Tut’s demise baffled people for a very long time.
King Tut overturned many of his father’s choices with the assistance of advisors. He allowed Egypt to revert to polytheism.
The king’s infected shattered left leg was discovered by CT scans in 1995, and DNA analysis of his mummy found indications of many malaria illnesses, all of which may have contributed to his early demise.
The CT scans of Tutankhamun revealed the Marfan’s syndrome-related characteristics of a cleft palate, a relatively large skull, a bent spine, and fusion of the top vertebrae. However, DNA tests conducted in 2010 disproved that diagnosis.
A BBC television documentary’s creators proposed in 2014 that Tut perished in a chariot crash that damaged his legs and pelvis, caused an illness, and maybe caused death by blood poisoning.
This theory’s proponents point out that Tut was shown as riding chariots and had a malformed left foot, making it likely that he dropped and fractured his leg.
One of the Egyptologists who participated in that British television broadcast actually continues to have his reservations about what actually occurred.
According to Egyptologist and former head of the Egypt Exploration Society Christopher Naunton, “We cannot currently know how Tutankhamun passed away.”
According to Naunton, the BBC documentary was predicated on the idea that the mummy displayed signs that the monarch had endured a serious damage to his left torso and side.
The researchers that the filmmakers commissioned concluded that a chariot wheel hit, rather than a fall from a chariot, may have resulted in this kind of injury.
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Mysteries Of Pharaoh’s Death
Making It Through Murder
When forensic scientists performed their magic on Tut’s mummy, they discovered that he had been slain. He had a bone fragment in his brain and what might have been a blood clot on his skull from a hard hit to the head.
Similar issues to those that arise when someone is shoved from behind and their head lands on the ground affected the bones above his eye sockets. He even had Klippel-Feil syndrome, a condition that would have rendered his body extremely brittle and prone to interference.
Who might have had a reason to assassinate the young king? Possibly Ay, his senile advisor who succeeded Tut as king. Or Horemheb, the tenacious general who succeeded Ay as king and was eager to revive Egypt’s waning military influence abroad.
Conspiracy theorists will be disappointed to learn that new analyses of the evidence indicate Tut wasn’t killed.
Scientists stated in an article published in the American Journal of Neuroradiology titled “The Skull and Cervical Spine Radiographs of Tutankhamen: A Critical Appraisal” that the wounds that some believed were caused by enemies may have been the result of shoddy early examinations.
What about the sliver of bone that seems odd? According to the authors of the article, its displacement “may fit in well with established hypotheses of the practise of mummification.”
A Dreadful Illness
What about a natural disease? Tut, the son of Akhenaten (formerly Amenhotep IV) and his full sister, was the result of extensive inbreeding among Egyptian royal family members.
According to a theory put up by Egyptologists, members of his family suffered from severe genetic problems brought on by inbreeding. The way his father, Akhenaten, presented himself—feminized, with long fingers and faces, large breasts, and a plump belly—led others to speculate that he had a variety of mental illnesses.
However, there were already indications that there might be hereditary problems in the family, so it might have been an aesthetic decision.
This dynasty’s members have long wed their siblings. Tut was a result of a long line of incest, which could have led to a bone condition that made the young boy-king frail. He would have been elderly, walking with a cane, and having a club foot.
He was far from the strong warrior that his tomb walls portrayed him to be, but that kind of idealisation was common in funeral art. Tut would therefore be vulnerable to any contagious infections that were there since he was already weak.
Tut’s mummy had plasmodium falciparum, a parasite that can cause malaria, according to further analysis. Tut would have been the disease’s most successful victim that season because of his weak constitution.
The monarch appears to have shattered his leg at one time; this wound never fully healed and may have been caused by a disastrous chariot ride, in addition to malaria.
Every king enjoyed getting muddy while travelling in chariots, particularly when going on hunts with companions. His ribs and pelvis were permanently damaged because of the way one side of his torso had caved in.
According to archaeologists, Tut was involved in a terrible chariot crash and his body never retrieved (perhaps exacerbated by his poor constitution). Others have claimed that Tut’s foot condition would have prevented him from riding in a chariot.
Why did King Tut die, then? Even while his poor health from inbreeding over many generations undoubtedly didn’t help, any of the aforementioned problems could have delivered the fatal blow. The fate of the illustrious boy-king may never be known to us, and the enigma surrounding his death will always remain just that: a mystery.