King tut mystery article by linfengfengfz

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									Mummy Murder Mystery
Solved?
Scientists unveil what they believe to be the real
cause of death for King Tut, the famous boy pharaoh

                                    What killed King Tut? Historians and scientists have long believed

                                    that ancient Egypt's most famous king was probably murdered. But a

                                    recent scientific study claims to have found a different solution to this

                                    more than 3,300-year-old mystery.

                                    A team of researchers now say that King Tut, the boy ruler, died of

complications from a broken leg and not as a result of foul play. The team released their findings in the

Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in February.

A Boy King

Tut's full name was Tutankhamen (too-tahng-KAH-mun). He was just 9 years old when he became

pharaoh, or ruler, of Egypt in 1348 B.C. His treasure-packed tomb was revealed to the world almost a

century ago. It made him one of the best-known Egyptian kings of all time. Tut's burial chamber was

filled with royal riches, including a solid-gold coffin, a gold mask, and piles of jewelry. But Tut did not

have much time to enjoy his vast wealth. His reign was cut short at the age of 19. Many experts have

thought that Tut was killed by one of his advisers, named Ay, who wanted the throne for himself. But

thanks to a major modern science project, it seems Ay is off the hook.

Science Solves History Mystery

Researchers set out to solve the mystery of King Tut's death by using the tools of science. They began

their investigation of Tut's well-preserved mummy by conducting an autopsy, which is an in-depth

medical examination to determine how someone died. The king's autopsy included DNA tests and
electronic scans of his remains.

Scientist Carsten Pusch conducted the tests on Tut for the new study. He thinks a broken leg contributed

to the young king's death. A scan of Tut's mummy showed an unhealed fracture in his thigh bone. This

confirms that the Egyptian leader broke his leg sometime close to his death. The DNA also indicates that

the pharaoh had an illness that causes bones to become frail and brittle. More than 100 walking sticks

were found in King Tut's tomb. This supports the autopsy findings. Many of the sticks were well-worn,

showing regular use.

"It is very likely that a bone [disease] required King Tut to use canes," Pusch told Discovery News.

“Maybe he just fell and broke his leg."

But how could a person die from a simple broken leg?

Pusch also found DNA evidence in Tut's remains that indicates he had malaria (muh-LAIR-ee-uh), a

disease carried by mosquitoes. Malaria severely weakens the immune system.

Pusch and his fellow researchers believe the malaria and the bone disease together caused the king's

fracture to become life-threatening. Ultimately, the young pharaoh was just too weak to heal. So the

effects of disease combined with the bad luck of a broken bone—not a jealous adviser—are likely the

real culprits in King Tut's death.

Mummies Tell Us More

Dr. Howard Markel, a medical historian at the University of Michigan, says the study does more than

solve a history mystery. The information gained by studying these mummies could give us valuable

insight into the diseases they had.

"This is very exciting that we can take modern technology and learn more about Egyptian history,"

Markel told CNN. "Mummies are very powerful tools. We can learn a lot from the dead, [like] how

illnesses evolve."

								
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