The Death of Tutankhamun

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TheDeath of Tutankhamun

Tutankhamun was an Egyptian King who reigned from 1332 B.C.E untilhis premature death in 1323 B.C.E (Buchanan, 2014). The young Pharaohdied at 18 years of age having ascended to the throne aged 9. Histeenage demise has become a subject of intense speculationconsidering the extensive protection granted to Egyptian monarchs.Also, rulers at that time were offered the choicest meals as theylived in luxury. Tutankhamun’s death set off events that led to theend of the country’s 18th dynasty (Williams, 2013). Thediscovery of his tomb in the Valley of Kings sparked off a string oftheories seeking to explain the monarch’s untimely demise.

One possible scholarly theory suggests that the young ruler died frominherited complications. This assertion was presented by ProfessorAlbert Zink, who serves as the head of the Institute for Mummies andIcemen in Italy (Buchanan, 2014). However, Bob Brier, a mummyspecialist from a reputable university, claimed that King Tutankhamunwas murdered by Ay, his chief advisor and successor. Brier based histheory on an X-ray of the pharaoh’s skull that revealed calcifiedblood clots in the lower section (Collins &amp McNamara, 2014). Suchevidence was consistent with a fatal blow caused by a blunt object.On the other hand, an alternate theory has been offered by a team ofBritish investigators who based their findings on a series of X-raystaken of the king’s body in 1968. The computed tomography (CT) scanrevealed that Tutankhamun had suffered massive trauma (Williams,2013). Therefore, the theory proposed that the monarch had beeninvolved in a fatal chariot crash. The severe damage to his chest wasevidently explained by a violent kick from a horse. Such a conclusionseemed feasible since the ruler’s chariot was customarily pulled bystallions (Williams, 2013). Moreover, the boy king sustained afracture to his knee before his demise. Therefore, the leg break wasassumed to have been caused by the crash. Besides, other culturalfactors were deduced from archaeological excavations (Chambliss &ampEglitis, 2016). In particular, Dr. Howard Carter’s discovery hasconvinced many scientists to embrace the likelihood that Tutankhamunfailed to recover from the broken leg (Collins &amp McNamara, 2014).Malaria also played a crucial role in the young leader’s death(Buchanan, 2014).

Nevertheless, the most plausible explanation for Tutankhamun’sdemise is that he died due to an inherited illness. Notably, agenetic analysis of the king’s family revealed that his parentswere fleshly siblings (Buchanan, 2014). Consequently, Tutankhamun hadconsiderable genetic impairments that compromised his physiologicalprocesses. Furthermore, an autopsy generated from virtual scansshowed that his skull fractures were caused post-mortem. In fact,only one of the breaks could be attributed to the time before hisdeath (Buchanan, 2014). This theory subverts previous assertions thatthe king succumbed to injuries resulting from a chariot crash.Tutankhamun’s partially clubbed foot rendered him unable to standwithout support (Buchanan, 2014). Besides, 130 walking canes werediscovered in the young royal’s tomb (Buchanan, 2014). Hence, itwas quite impossible for the king to ride on a chariot. Additionally,this theory discounts the claim that King Tutankhamun was murdered byone of his closest advisors seeking to inherit the throne. In thisregard, the calcified clots under his skull could have been caused bythe mummification process after the leader’s death.

Indeed, the discovery of Egyptian King Tutankhamun’s tomb hascaused plenty of speculative theories seeking to explain hispremature demise. Despite the protection accorded to Pharaohs, theyoung monarch died at 18. Some theories have claimed that he died dueto a chariot crash while others have proposed foul play.Notwithstanding, the most plausible theory asserts that the rulerdied due to genetic impairments.


Buchanan, R. T. (2014, Oct. 20). King Tutankhamun did not die inchariot crash, virtual autopsy reveals. Independent. Retrievedfrom

Chambliss, W. J. &amp Eglitis, D. S. (2016). Discover sociology.Los Angeles, Calif.: SAGE.

Collins, P. &amp McNamara, L. (2014). Discovering Tutankhamun.Oxford, Miss.: University of Oxford.

Williams, A. R. (2013, Nov. 7). Mystery of King Tut`s Death Solved?Maybe Not. National Geographic. Retrieved from

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