Egypt’s History is one of the most explicit history that catches scholars’ interest. One of the “wonderful things” which the Egypt’s past hold is the story about Tutankhamen.
On November 26, 1922, Howard Carter and George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon discovered Tutankhamen’s intact tomb. Inside the innermost coffin is made of gold, a gold funerary mask had been placed over the young king’s mummified body. As news leaked out, the world press could hardly contain its enthusiasm. “This has been, perhaps, the most extraordinary day in the whole history of Egypt’s excavation.” (H.Sayre, 2011, p. 65). But, who is Tutakhamen? And what is extraordinary about the discovery of his intact tomb? What is the mystery behind his death?
Tutankhamen was a young king. He became the king of Egypt at the age of nine. He was of slight built, and he had large front incisors. Research also showed that Tutankhamen had a slightly cleft palate and a mild case of scoliosis. Tutankhamen was a pharaoh who reigned 9years, He bought back Egypt from a heretical cult. There are no surviving records of Tutankhamun's final days. He was buried to an unmarked grave, not the one chosen for him, he was buried in secret, the doors of his tomb sealed, all but forgotten (P. Doherty. “The Mysterious Death of Tutannkhamun, 2002).What caused Tutankhamun's death has been the subject of considerable debate. Major studies have been conducted in an effort to establish the cause of death.
For years, scientists have tried to unravel ancient clues as to why the boy king of Egypt, who reigned for 9 years, died at the age of 18. Several theories have been put forth; one was that he was killed by a blow to the head. One theory about Tutankhamen's death was from lecturer and surgeon Dr. Hutan Ashrafian, who believed that temporal lobe epilepsy caused the fatal fall which broke Tutankhamen's leg (Rosenbaum, Matthews, 2012, “Mystery of King Tut’s death solved.”). Some archaeologists think that he was assassinated/murdered. DNA analysis conducted in 2010 showed the presence of malaria in his system, leading to the belief that malaria and kohler disease II combined led to his death (Roberts, and Michelle. “Malaria Killed King”, 2010). According to the September 2010 issue of National Geographic magazine, Tutankhamen was the result of an incestuous relationship and, because of that, may have suffered from several genetic defects that contributed to his early death. In late 2013, Dr. Chris Naunton performed a virtual autopsy which revealed body injuries to one side of his body. He later on concluded that Tutankhamen was killed in a chariot crash.( J. Owen, “Solved: The Mystery of King Tutankhamun’s death”, 2013)
Egyptologists have always been fascinated by Tutankhamen’s mummy, the contents of his tomb, and the reason of his death. One theory that captured my interest, and what I think best explain the cause of his death was; Tutankhamen was murdered. In 1968, Professor Harrison carried out his autopsy showing a thinning of bone behind the left ear, though there was no fracture involved. Harrison did find a small fragment of bone in the skull but this had nothing to do with the thinning behind the left ear. Most pathologists now concluded the bone fragment had nothing to do with the mummification process but was due to post- mortem damage. Harrison also established that the sternum and part of the rib cage had been removed, probably during mummification. However, these findings were seized upon by Egyptologists such as Brier, Aldred, and Dodson. Brier maintains that there is every possibility that the thinning of the skull behind Tutankhamen’s left was the result of a blow. Aldred argues that it could have been the work of an arrow. Dodson wonders whether the missing sternum and ribs was due to an accident, a fall from a chariot. Professor Brier, in particular, builds up a case for murder. He immediately seizes on the fact that Tutankhamen’s predecessors…