The ancient mystery of what happened to the Egyptian boy king Tutankhamun has finally been solved. In a fascinating new report out today, a mystery that has persisted for many thousands of years, is answered at last. The riddle of the tombs has finally been cracked.
Possibly the most famous of all the Pharaohs, Tutankhamun was only 17-years-old when he died and was embalmed back in 1323 BC. There was a spooky twist to the fate of the man who discovered him. British archaeologist Lord Carnarvon was found dead in nearby Cairo, after opening up the tomb in 1922. This led to intense speculation that he had been hit by an ancient and terrible curse. The myth of the “curse of the pharaohs” became a persistent one. It has led to many imaginative stories being told about it, both in print on the screen. Those who dared to disturb a mummy’s tomb would suffer an untimely death.
Tutankhamun had a short life and a shorter reign which history does not record as significant apart from the fact that he switched Egypt back to the cult of Amun. He began to rule aged around 8 or 9-years-old when he also married, Ankhensenpaaten, the daughter of Nerfettiti. He was the 11 Pharaoh and he ruled in the 18 Dynasty. When he died he was buried in the Valley of the Kings with his ancestors, underneath the tomb of the mighty Ramses VI. It was only when his tomb was discovered and opened up in the 1920’s that he rose to an unprecedented international stardom.
His golden burial mask that was found at that time, has become the worldwide symbolic icon for Egyptian studies. The incredible haul of precious jewels and golden artifacts within the tomb captured imaginations all over the globe and eventually went on a worldwide sell-out tour of museums.
Now, with the powerful tools of forensic science available, current day scientists are less susceptible to talk amid fears of historical hexes. They are able to analyze ancient remains and collect specific forensic data that leads to a deeper understanding of the fates of the dead. Heading up this latest research into the body of the boy king, Dr. Chris Naunton, of the Egypt Exploration Society has come to a radical conclusion. Tutankhamun was the first boy racer in recorded time. Yes, the reckless young lad must have been driving his chariot way over the speed limit when he wiped out and was killed. This is now confirmed by the injury marks reconstructed from a scrap of his flesh. The ancient mystery of Tutankhamun’s death is now finally solved.
Naunton, who is the director of the Society, made his own foray into the old journals that had belonged to Howard Carter, Lord Carnarvon’s assistant back in 1922. He saw that Carter had written about a suggestion that Tutankhamun had been burnt. This sparked his curiosity and he got in touch with fellow academic, Dr. Robert Connolly at Liverpool University. Connolly had been part of the team that originally took x-rays of the remains in 1968 and amazingly, he still had some of the bones left in his office. Among this array of collected bone was a scrap of the body.
When this remnant of flesh was passed under an electron microscope it did indeed confirm that it was burnt. Intrigued, the forensic archaeologists went on to conduct more tests. They were soon onto something – King Tut had actually exploded inside his own coffin.
The usually perfect process of mummification, allowing these bodies to be preserved for eternity, had somehow been a botch job in Tutankhamun’s case. The oils used on him had combined with the linen of the shroud and oxygen inside of the casket, resulting in a fiery combustion. If he had not already been dead he would have been fried alive. This now explains why his body had no heart in it. It would have been destroyed in the intense heat of over 200 degrees Celsius. The poor kid was mummy-fried.
Taking this new information and creating a simulation of the chariot accident, the research scientists have arrived with a highly detailed account of the accident that catapulted young Tutankhamun out of his life and into immortal fame. It seems he was kneeling at the time of the smash, his pelvis and rib cage shattered on impact and his heart would have been crushed. This “virtual autopsy” determines, beyond question, what actually happened to kill this teenage boy so very many thousands of years ago.
Dr. Naunton finds it incredible that Tutankhamun is so familiar and yet much of the evidence about him has previously been bypassed. The odd condition that the body was found in has never been looked at before. DNA tests have also certified his parentage. He was the son of Akhenaten, for a long-time this was suspected but never before confirmed. In this verification, a darker secret comes to surface; this was an ancient case of incest – Akhenaten’s wife was also his sister.
It has been a combination of intuition, curiosity and sophisticated twenty-first century science which has finally solved the ancient mystery of Tutankhamun. A documentary about it, Tutankhamun: The Mystery of the Burnt Mummy, created by Channel 4 will broadcast on UK television on November 10.
Written By: Kate Henderson