Friday, November 2, 2007
Archeologists in recent years have tried to resolve lingering questions over how he died and his precise royal lineage. Several books and documentaries dedicated to the young pharaoh, who is believed to have been the 12th ruler of ancient Egypt's 18th dynasty and ascended to the throne around the age of 8, are popular around the world.
In an effort to try to solve the mysteries, scientists removed Tut's mummy from his tomb and placed it into a portable CT scanner for 15 minutes in 2005 to obtain a three-dimensional image. The scans were the first done on an Egyptian mummy.
The results did rule out that Tut was violently murdered — but stopped short of definitively concluding how he died around 1323 B.C. Experts for the time though suggested that days before dying, Tut badly broke his left thigh, apparently in an accident, that may have caused a fatal infection.
The CT scan also provided the most revealing insight yet into the life of ancient Egypt's most famous king. He was well-fed, healthy, yet slightly built, standing at 5 feet, 6 inches tall at the time of his death. The scan also showed he had the typical overbite characteristic of other kings from his family, large incisor teeth and his lower teeth were slightly misaligned.
The unveiling of Tut's mummy comes amid a frenzy of international publicity for the boy king. A highly publicized museum exhibit traveling the globe drew more than 4 million people during the initial four-city American-leg of the tour. The exhibit will open later this month in London and after it will make a three-city encore tour in the U.S. beginning with the Dallas Museum of Art.