We’ve heard lots of legend about the Tut, the boy king over the years (over the decades really). His cause of death has been hypothesized over since he was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. No other Egyptian Pharaoh has been romanticized more than Tut, and although he is one of the few rulers we have a lot of information on, the line of questioning continues as new discoveries are made each year.
For the longest time our view of Tut was built around the information found on the walls of his Valley of the Kings Tomb. The young virile king, riding his chariot in races, hunting animals with his retinue; a proud king with several queens by his side, siring a hoard of young Tut-lings for the ages. Now we know that most of this was untrue. Even several years ago, examinations of the Tut mummy revealed the young king was club footed, and possibly had a cleft palette. But the newest data recently discovered takes us even further into the mystery of Tutankhamun.
A recent study conducted the most intensive examination of the Tut mummy ever initiated. This “virtual autopsy” consisted of over 2,000 images taken via CT scan and MRI. The results shed interesting new light on the life Tut must have lived.
Gone are the ideas of the strong young king riding chariots in races. The severity of his club foot would have prevented him from even considering mounting a chariot. The stresses of his weight being distributed on his crooked ankle, coupled with the bouncing of the chariot wheels would have undoubtedly resulted in a shattered ankle. In fact, it’s likely that Tut walked everywhere assisted by a cane, as evidenced by the 130 walking sticks found in his tomb.
Tut also suffered heavily from buck teeth. His speech may have been affected by both this condition and the supposed soft palette deformity we believe he may have had. And furthermore, Tut’s hips were malformed for a male. Apparently years of inbreeding (his parents were most likely siblings) can cause a serious confusion of hormones in the body. A higher concentration of estrogen made Tut’s hips shallow and wide.
Tut lived only until his 18th year after ascending to the throne at 8. His immediate line of ancestors also had short lifespans. If you look back just a few generations to the more diverse gene pools of Pharaohs we see much longer lives, and much healthier individuals. Scientists, biologists, and Egyptologists believe these physical infirmities, and the added “benefit” of a dse of malaria are what brought down the young king in what would have been the prime of any other persons life.
Poor Tut, the boy king had the deck stacked against him right from the beginning. He inherited the throne from his father the heretic king, and got dealt a bad hand by genetics. Having a father/uncle and a mother/aunt does not a healthy monarch make! View the video below the full picture of Tut so see the findings from Egypt’s renowned antiquities historian Dr. Zahi Hawass.