Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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How Did King Tut Die?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

(Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons)CAIRO, EGYPT—Scientists have been studying the mummy of King Tut since it was first unwrapped in 1925. That examination resulted in severe damage to the remains. Since then, the mummy has been x-rayed twice, it has undergone CT scanning, and its DNA has been analyzed. Yet, Tutankhamun’s internal organs, stored in canopic jars, have never been evaluated. “As neither his body nor historical texts provide a definitive explanation for his demise, a lot of conjectures based on slim evidence have come forth,” said Salima Ikram of The American University in Cairo. She and Frank Rühli of the University of Zurich have reviewed all of the medical claims made about King Tut’s health and his possible cause of death. “The most important finding of this latest publication is that Tutankhamun’s medical case remains unsolved despite almost 80 years of research,” he said.