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Transcript of Historical Investigation
The Death of Tutankhamun "Account for the untimely death of Tutankhamun" There have been many theories as to why Tutankhamun, ruler of the 18th dynastry of New Kingdom Egypt, died at the young age of nineteen. These theories include:
Death due to degenerative bone disorder.
Malaria, as the result of an insect bite.
A fractured leg, which lowered Tutankhamun's immune system and may have caused infection. Death Due to a Bone Disorder Many scientists believe that Tutankhamun's death may have been caused by degenerative bone disorder. Evidence to support this includes: 130 walking sticks found in the antechamber of Tutankhamun's tomb.
Tomb wall paintings depicting Tutankhamun leaning on walking sticks for support.
A U-shaped headrest, made out of turquoise-blue glass, found in the Annex.
Two tiny coffins found with Tutankhamun in his tomb, each holding the body of a baby girl. These children, believed to be Tutankhamun's own, were also suffering with bone disease. The Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt. The two tiny coffins found in Tutankhamun's tomb. The Malaria Parasite The Leg Fracture The final theory to account for the untimely death of Tutankhamun is a fracture in his left thighbone, which in conjunction with the first two theories, may have lowered his immune system and caused infection, resulting in his untimely death. Evidence to support this includes:
A CT scan which showed a thin coat of embalming resin around the break, indicating that Tutankhamun broke his leg before he died.
Other fractures on Tutankhamun's body which occured after death. These breaks differed, in that they were loose fragments of bone that were not covered with solidified embalming material.
The fact that, alone, neither of the first two theories (degenerative bone disorder and malaria) can account for the untimely death of Tutankhamun. Therefore, after examination of Tutankhamun's body and the artefacts and evidence found with him, it is evident that Tutankhamun died of natural causes, through a combination of degenerative bone disorder, malaria and a fractured leg, which lowered his immune system and caused infection. "Acount for the untimely death of Tutankhamun." King Tutankhamen and Queen Ankhesenamen, detail from the back of the throne of Tutankhamen: in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. The throne of Tutankhamen, with carved figures of the young pharaoh and his wife under the rays of the sun, from his tomb in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor (ancient Thebes), Egypt: in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. In 2010 scientists conducted DNA testing and found evidence of Malaria parasites on Tutankhamun’s body, thus suggesting that an insect bite, with the other theories, contributed to his death. Evidence to support this includes:
Two of Tutankhamun's ancestors, Yuya and Thuya, who also had traces of Malaria in their bodies.
The fact that Tuya and Thuya lived until the advanced age of 50, suggesting that Malaria was not the sole cause of Tutankhamun's death. Howard Carter examining Tutankhamun.