o The Frog Blog: Tutankhamun DNA Reveals King's Secrets

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Tutankhamun DNA Reveals King's Secrets


Two years of DNA testing and CT scans on Tutankhamun's 3,300-year-old mummy and 15 others are helping end many of the myths surrounding the boy king. While a comparatively minor ruler, he has captivated the public since the 1922 discovery of his tomb, which was filled with a stunning array of jewels and artefacts, including a golden funeral mask. Egypt's most famous pharaoh, King Tutankhamun, is revealed as a frail boy who suffered from a cleft palate and club foot, according to a study published today that shows he died of complications from a broken leg exacerbated by malaria and his parents were most likely brother and sister.

Tutankhamun, who became pharaoh at age 10 in 1333BC , ruled for just nine years at a pivotal time in Egypt's history. Speculation has long swirled over his death at 19. A hole in his skull fuelled speculation he was murdered, until a 2005 CT scan ruled that out, finding the hole was likely from the mummification process. The scan also uncovered the broken leg.

1 comment:

Susan at Stony River said...

Poor kid.

My daughter was looking at universities this summer, and we visited West Virginia University while in America. They've got an incredible forensics programme there and it really caught my imagination--it's amazing how much we can learn these days, from so little.