Mystery of Tut's death solved with forensics

CAUSE OF DEATH: King Tut, whose mask is seen above, was found to have died in a chariot accident.


    Nov 05, 2013

    Mystery of Tut's death solved with forensics


    THE 3,000-year-old mystery of how King Tutankhamun died may finally be put to rest.

    Theories about the boy king's death in 1,323BC have abound, including that of murder. Using modern forensic methods, experts have found that he died in a chariot accident that left his bones shattered and his heart irreparable.

    This explains why King Tut, as he is widely known, was buried without his heart, unlike other pharaohs.

    Dr Chris Naunton, director of the Egypt Exploration Society, worked with scientists from the Cranfield Forensic Institute to perform a "virtual autopsy", which revealed that the pharaoh's injuries matched those sustained in a car crash, The Independent reported.

    In a documentary to be screened in Britain this month, car-crash investigators created computer simulations which suggest that a chariot smashed into him while he was on his knees - shattering his ribs and pelvis, and crushing his heart.

    Dr Naunton also established that Tutankhamun's mummification was botched, leading to the burning of his body inside his coffin.

    Chemical tests on a piece of the pharaoh's flesh showed that embalming oils, oxygen and linen had mixed in a conflagration that "cooked" the king's corpse inside his tomb.

    Despite the fame that the king and his tomb acquired since being uncovered in 1922, much evidence had been overlooked, British reports quoted Dr Naunton as saying.