Feb
16
2010

King Tut, you might want to sit down before we go over these test results

What's wrong with Tut?: CT scans and DNA tests conducted over the past two years have uncovered several major problems that contributed to King Tut's death: malaria, broken leg, a club foot and restricted blood flow to Tut's left foot.
What's wrong with Tut?: CT scans and DNA tests conducted over the past two years have uncovered several major problems that contributed to King Tut's death: malaria, broken leg, a club foot and restricted blood flow to Tut's left foot.Courtesy Sanandreas
Being a boy king of Egypt had it’s share of downs along with all the gold and glitter.

CT scans and DNA testing conducted on the mummy to King Tutankhamun (King Tut for short) show that the boy pharaoh was suffering from several medical problems at the time of his death at age 19.

The contemporary medical testing shows that Tut had a cleft palate and a club foot and was suffering from malaria and a broken leg at the time that he died some 3,300 years ago. The results were announced today and will be published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Medical experts have also been able to untangle the web of intrigue as to who Tut’s parents were, sort of. DNA shows that Tut is the son of the previous pharaoh, Akhenaten, and his likely mother is an unidentified sister of Akhenaten. In total, 16 mummies underwent CT scanning to get a better picture of who Tut was and what the times were like when he was alive.

The 21st Century testing was able to answer more than half of Tut’s paternity questions by identifying his father. And while we know that Akhenaten’s sister was Tut’s mother, her mummified remains confirm Tut’s DNA, her identity is still unknown. It was not uncommon in New Kingdom Egypt for pharaohs to marry to their sisters.

The findings put to bed once and for all long-held speculation that Tut was murdered. That idea was fueled by a hole in his skull, but a 2005 scan of Tut’s mummy showed that hole was made as part of the mummification process.

The majesty that we associated with Tut based on the ornate furnishings found in his burial chamber may be a far cry from what life was like for the finals days of the boy king. The medical testing shows that Tut was a sickly teen who was done in by complications from the broken leg and malaria in his brain.

On top of that, Tut had a club foot that likely required him to use a cane. In fact, 130 canes or walking sticks have been found among his burial goods, with some of the canes showing wear and tear. Tut also suffered from Kohler's disease in which lack of blood flow was slowly destroying the bones of his left foot.

Another theory cleared up through the medical tests: Tut did not suffer from any medical conditions that would have given him female body characteristics or misshapen bones.

Want to learn more? Here’s a Q&A with Egyptologist Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, about the new Tut findings.

And here is even more in-depth coverage from National Geographic.

Bummed out that Tut was so sickly and need a pick-me-up? Do you really need a shot of Steve Martin's "King Tut" song right now? Enjoy (with a special guest appearance by Fonzie [aka Henry Winkler]). Maybe Steve needs to add a new verse to include all this new medical information.

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (7 votes)

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

most people think tut is scary but i dont

posted on Wed, 03/31/2010 - 1:12pm
bella451001's picture

Tut is the best topic for study .......

posted on Sun, 05/02/2010 - 1:50am
G Money's picture
G Money says:

I thought this was very interesting

posted on Thu, 07/08/2010 - 12:09pm
Chazia's picture
Chazia says:

I did know that!

posted on Thu, 07/29/2010 - 12:42pm
Deelia Clarke's picture
Deelia Clarke says:

He is one of the most known kings even though we know very little of him.

posted on Thu, 09/23/2010 - 4:57pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

interesting!

posted on Sat, 01/28/2012 - 12:40pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

yeah

posted on Sat, 01/28/2012 - 4:23pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Oh wow thats interesting!!!!!

posted on Sat, 03/10/2012 - 3:01pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

danggg.....how can you guys figure out what happend like 30000 years ago???? thats crazyy

posted on Sat, 03/24/2012 - 8:35am
person's picture
person says:

Okay that's weird.

posted on Mon, 04/02/2012 - 10:15am
katelyn's picture
katelyn says:

oh wow thats interesting !!!!!!

posted on Thu, 04/05/2012 - 12:53pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this is cool 2 get 2 no about

posted on Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:06am
Lady B's picture
Lady B says:

King Tut was, as I was told when I was little, was a murder. I dont Like This King Tut very much!!

posted on Sat, 04/21/2012 - 2:21pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <h3> <h4> <em> <i> <strong> <b> <span> <ul> <ol> <li> <blockquote> <object> <embed> <param> <sub> <sup>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may embed videos from the following providers vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw0jmvdh.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options