Was King Tutankhamun murdered or did he die from an illness? This question has continued to puzzle historians, Egyptologists, and scientists for many years. There are many different theories as to how he died and all of them continue to be debated to this day. Some will argue King Tutankhamun was murdered due to greed and power, while others believe he fell from his chariot or died from an illness. So many theories surround his death that it’s impossible to rule out an exact cause.
There is strong evidence that points towards King Tutankhamen dying from a chariot hunting fall. Before he died he was known to have major swelling at the base of the skull as well as a fracture in the left leg. Many scientists believe the break may have led to blood poisoning. Until now, it was thought King Tutankhamen had been pampered and protected from danger. Artifacts found in King Tutankhamen's tomb suggests otherwise. The used chariots and arrows prove that he was an active young man who enjoyed chariot racing. Another artifact found was a protective corset, likely to have been used to shield his vital organs. There is also a theory that King Tutankhamen died between December and January. Flowers that were found around the neck of the mummy are known to be in bloom from mid march to the end of April. When you consider that the mummification process lasts seventy days, the flowers are further evidence that King Tutankhamun did most likely die during the months of December and January. December to January is the ideal time to go chariot hunting in the desert as the temperature is cooler. His chariots could have reached speeds of up to 40 kmph which potentially, could have terrible repercussions if you were to tip. Consequently there is a lot of support for the theory that King Tutankhamen died from a chariot fall.
An alternative theory suggests that Tutankhamen died because of his ill health. Scientists believe that he somehow broke his leg before he died. His bone in his leg did not heal because of the lack of antibiotics. King Tutankhamen then became weak and more vulnerable to blood poisoning or infection in his leg. Consequently such an injury would have made him very sick but there is some evidence that suggests he could of caught malaria on top of his other illnesses . This would have caused death. The evidence that caused scientists to wonder if he had malaria was the discovery of malaria parasites in his DNA. This discovery created many further leads, however it does not confirm he suffered from malaria. Other artifacts found in the tomb were seeds, fruits and leaves. These are thought to be used as herbal remedies and medical treatments before he died. All of this evidence support this theory of King Tutankhamen dying from ill health
Up until 1968 it was thought that King Tutankhamen was murdered. However in 1968 opinions changed as new evidence was founded. X-rays showed swelling at the base of the neck could have been from a blow to the back of his head or a dangerous fall. However, the alignment of his spine lead doctors to believe that his injury took place when he was lying down. This evidence is what led many people to believe he was murdered in his sleep. There were two main figures who were linked to this murder case; Aye who was Tutankhamun's royal vizier and the head of the egyptian army, Horemheb. Aye worked very closely with Tutankhamun and looked after him when the majority of his family passed away. He continually helped Tutankhamen make major decisions as at this stage he was only nine years old. Aye stayed by Tutankhamun's side and mentored him until he was capable of making his own decisions. However, it is said that Aye killed Tutankhamun out of greed and selfishness.