Monday, November 23, 2009

Feature: How did Tutankhamun die?

With video (transcription available on Heritage Key).

Before the tomb of King Tutankhamun was found, Egyptologists knew very little about this short-reigned king. Since the discovery of KV 62 in 1922, King Tut has become the most famous pharaoh, and there has been much debate about why he died so young.

It is not only at excavation sites that amazing artefacts can be discovered, but the archives of previous digs as well as the artefacts already in museums can still surprise us. Or what about the basement of the Cairo museum? Watch the video.

Egyptologists previously thought that it was most likely that Tutankhamun was the brother of Akhenaton, and the son of Amenhotep III. Now much more is known about the Amarna Period and the lives of Akhenaton and Tutankhamun. Through studying the reliefs and historical texts, it seems very unlikely that he could be the son of Amenhotep III. Tutankahmun was born in Amarna, so we now believe his mother was probably Kiya, an Egyptian princess and wife of Akhenaton, who likely died when she was giving birth to Tutankhamun.

Recently we CT scanned the mummy of King Tut to examine his life and death in depth and determine how he died. We found that he died at the age of 19, and that he was not murdered, as people have long speculated.

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