The Mystery of Tutankhamen

Assignment 1
Mathew H
October 25, 2013

  There are many mysteries regarding ancient Egypt. Most of them surround the pyramids or the old kings, but one of the most famous of these, surrounds the boy-king Tutankhamen. Originally named Tutankhaten, he assumed the name Tutankhamen when he took the throne and died very shortly after (Sayre, 2012). Historians believe he began rule at the age of 9 and died 10 years later. Many theories have been formed over why he died so early, “There have been theories of murder, leprosy, tuberculosis, malaria, sickle-cell anemia, a snake bite — even the suggestion that the young king died after a fall from his chariot.” Most are logical options with little to no evidence, but some theories seem to be wild stabs in the dark.   In July of 2013, Dr. Benson Harer Jr even published his theory in the magazine “Ancient Egypt” explaining the possibility of a hippopotamus bite being King Tut’s cause of death.   However, a surgeon, Dr. Hutan Ashrafian just recently published his theory on the possibility of a genetic disorder, probably a form of epilepsy.
Due to the young age at which Tutankhamen died, one the first theories to emerge was centered on assassination. However after a CT scan Egypt’s Supreme Council found evidence that he was not killed by a blow to the head as most people believed.
“The scans did reveal unusual features, including a broken leg, which some experts think may have led to the boy king's death.   The scans cannot rule out "nonviolent" murder, such as poisoning. But they have apparently disproved the oft-repeated theory that King Tutankhamun was murdered by a blow to the head.” (Handwerk, 2005)
This essentially rules out most forms of violent murders that were often believed to have caused his death. However this does not rule out poison or other forms of violence that would not leave physical evidence on the bones.
Recently a surgeon with an interest in medical history published another...