Asked by a colleague on the outside if he saw anything, Carter replied, “Yes, wonderful things.”, Read more: See Stunning Photos of King Tut’s Tomb After a Major Restoration. Every king loved riding dirty in chariots, especially when going out on hunts with their friends. The rulers who followed erased written representations of both father and son from Egyptian’s important list of kings, he explains, and both tombs were considered lost until their discovery in the early 20 century. No one is certain of the exact cause of King Tutankhamen's death, but scholars know that the young royal was physically frail. In fact, one of the Egyptologists involved in that British television program still has his doubts about what happened. Problems with the bones above his eye sockets were similar to those that occur when someone’s shoved from behind and his head hits the ground. Aided by advisers, King Tut reversed many of his father’s decisions. Archaeologists have suggested that Tut was in a really bad chariot crash, and his body never recovered (perhaps exacerbated by his poor constitution). His bad health, thanks to generations of inbreeding, probably didn’t help, but any of the above issues could’ve caused the killing blow. Fact Check: What Power Does the President Really Have Over State Governors? Since archaeologist Howard Carter discovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, mysteries have surrounded the final resting place of the boy-king – and exactly how he got there at an early age. Did his friends and family get away with murder? But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Carter hinted at that future fascination when he first entered the pharaoh’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Supporters of this theory note that Tut was depicted riding on chariots and also suffered from a deformed left foot, making it possible that he fell and broke his leg. Unfortunately for conspiracy theorists, later re-evaluations of evidence suggest that Tut wasn’t killed. Who would have had the motive to kill the young king? Its displacement “could fit in well with known theories of the practice of mummification," the article's authors state. Did his friends and family get away with murder? He was hardly the robust warrior he depicted himself to be on his tomb walls, but that type of idealization was typical of funerary art. Tut was a product of generations of incest, which may have caused a bone disorder that weakened the young boy-king. Side of the painted casket from the tomb of Tutankhamun, depiciting the King in battle in a chariot. With a frail constitution, Tut would’ve been the disease’s number one conquest that season. So what killed King Tut? By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Why Mozart Wasn't Buried in a Pauper's Grave, Biography of Queen Nefertiti, Ancient Egyptian Queen, Biography of Hatshepsut, Pharaoh of Egypt, Biography of Anastasia Romanov, Doomed Russian Duchess, Serial Killer Couple Ray and Faye Copeland, Summary of the Chapters of Barry Strauss' 'Trojan War: A New History', “The Skull and Cervical Spine Radiographs of Tutankhamen: A Critical Appraisal”. It’s as if these people didn’t exist,” Silverman says. What about natural illness? “Those of us who have anything to do with mummies know the degree that post mortem changes with the effects of mummification itself and along with what may hav… Perhaps his elderly adviser, Ay, who became king after Tut. He even suffered from Klippel-Feil syndrome, a disorder which would have left his body very fragile and susceptible to interference. King Tutankhamen, popularly known as "King Tut," died when he was around 19 years old. We may never know what happened to the famous boy-king, and the mystery of his demise will remain just that - a mystery. Bryan says she believes that new forensic technologies will ultimately improve enough to determine what happened. Will 5G Impact Our Cell Phone Plans (or Our Health?! He would have been frail with a club foot, walking with a cane. What remains unclear, Naunton says, is whether the skeletal damage occurred during the king’s life or long after his death, as a result of the handling of the mummy after the discovery of the tomb by Howard Carter. Werner Forman/Universal Images Group/Getty Images. When British archaeologist Howard Carter opened a sarcophagus in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings for the first time on February 16, 1923, he stoked intrigue and mystery over an ancient Egyptian boy king. One obstacle to reconstructing Tut’s life is the condition of his mummy after its discovery in 1923. During that time, some of the necklaces and jewels buried with Tut were removed, perhaps fracturing the fragile remains. One obstacle to reconstructing Tut’s life is the condition of his mummy after its discovery in 1923. Carter first examined the remains in 1926 and then returned the mummy to the outer burial chamber where it remained until 2007. No one is certain of the exact cause of King Tutankhamen's death, but scholars know that the young royal was physically frail. While that theory sounded like a good story, there were no records that such an incident occurred. “New technology is not necessary,” he says. His father, Akhenaten, showed himself as feminized, long-fingered and -faced, full-breasted, and round-bellied, which led some people to believe he suffered from a number of different disorders. Who was King Tutankhamun, the occupant of the burial chamber who ruled 3,300 years ago, and how did he die at the age of 19? Silverman says that Tut restored the old gods and their temples, erasing the changes brought by his heretical father and returning the kingdom to stability. Scholars have cast about any number of theories, but his ultimate cause of death remains uncertain. At one point, the king appears to have fractured his leg, a wound that never healed properly, perhaps sustained during a chariot ride gone wrong and malaria on top of that. © 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. Since pharaohs tended to marry their family members, genetic problems caused by inbreeding may have contributed to his early death. Egyptologists have theorized that members of his family had serious genetic disorders resulting from inbreeding. Others have stated Tut wouldn’t have been able to ride in a chariot because of his foot affliction. Though scholars initially believed that a hole in the back of his skull was evidence of foul play, research in 2005 indicates that embalmers made the hole during mummification. While records of his life were erased, in death, King Tut became ancient Egypt’s most famous pharaoh. The filmmakers commissioned research that showed that this kind of injury could have been caused by the impact of a chariot wheel, but not by a fall from a chariot. The CT scans of Tutankhamun found a cleft palate and fairly long head, as well as a curved spine and fusion of the upper vertebrae, which are conditions associated with Marfan’s syndrome. Members of this dynasty long married their siblings. Not only is King Tut’s death a mystery, there are also gaps in the story of his life. What put Tut in that tomb? At the time of his death, he had ruled over Egypt as pharaoh for 10 years. King Tutankhamen, popularly known as "King Tut," died when he was around 19 years old. Tutankhamun was the son of a controversial Egyptian king, Akhenaten, who decreed that Egypt would worship a single god, Aten, instead of many, and moved its capital from Thebes to Amarna. Tut was a product of significant inbreeding amongst members of the Egyptian royal family, the son of Akhenaten (né Amenhotep IV) and his full sister. This could’ve been an artistic choice, however, but there were already hints of genetic issues in the family. Festival of Sacrifice: The Past and Present of the Islamic Holiday of Eid al-Adha. Under his rule, Egypt returned to polytheism. We investigate the pharaoh’s death and dig deep to uncover the mysteries of his final days. “Those of us who have anything to do with mummies know the degree that post mortem changes with the effects of mummification itself and along with what may have happened are really difficult to factor in and create a believable narrative,” says Betsy M. Bryan, professor of near Eastern studies at Johns Hopkins University, who has worked for decades researching ancient Egypt. What about the suspicious bone sliver? At the time of his death, he had ruled over Egypt as pharaoh for 10 years. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. There are several theories about the cause of death of the young monarch. ), The Secret Science of Solving Crossword Puzzles, Racist Phrases to Remove From Your Mental Lexicon. Or Horemheb, the vigorous general who was champing at the bit to restore Egypt’s declining military presence abroad and wound up being pharaoh after Ay. Carter didn’t have an answer back then, but modern forensic and medical technologies have uncovered details that provide clues as to what may have plagued King Tut before his death. “It’s quite possible what ultimately killed him has left no trace,” Naunton says. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Decades of research and high-tech forensics have offered multiple theories. “We cannot at present know how Tutankhamun died,” says Christopher Naunton, an Egyptologist and former head of the Egypt Exploration Society. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. Is the Coronavirus Crisis Increasing America's Drug Overdoses? There was a bone sliver in his brain cavity and a possible blood clot on his skull that may have resulted from a bad blow to the head. Carly Silver is an ancient and classical history expert who has served as a tour guide, assistant editor for Harlequin Books, and teacher and lecturer in Brooklyn. This “boy king” ruled for less than a decade; he died at age nineteen. In addition to a club foot, he had an infection in his left leg, which was broken, and suffered multiple … What put Tut in that tomb?

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