Thursday, 26 November 2015

1922 Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, archeologists, open King Tut’s tomb, undisturbed for 3,000 years.

Volume 65, Issue 1, February 2014, Pages 51-63

Purported medical diagnoses of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, c. 1325 BC-  (Article)

Swiss Mummy Project/Centre for Evolutionary Medicine, Institute of Anatomy, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstr. 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology and Egyptology, American University in Cairo, P.O. Box 74, Road 90, Tagammu 5, New Cairo 11825, Egypt


King Tutankhamun is one of the most famous rulers of antiquity, thus it is not surprising that a plethora of scientific studies have put forth possible medical diagnoses and causes of his death. Diseases (autologous or infectious), metabolic disorders, trauma (possibly even murder-related), or tumorous conditions have been postulated, frequently only based on secondary data sources. The aim of this article is to critically review all these diagnoses.Since the initial examination of the mummy in the mid 1920s by Howard Carter and others, several dozens of medical diagnoses based on various levels of evidence have been proposed. While some studies did not support any sign of a major disease, others suggested diseases whose existence cannot be proven with the little tissue that is preserved for study.In the last c. five years new examinations of the mummy were performed by computed tomography and ancient DNA analyses, now allowing not only to exclude certain diagnoses that had been postulated earlier, but also to arrive at new theories with a higher degree of certainty concerning the state of health and the early death of this most famous ruler. © 2013 Elsevier GmbH.

Indexed keywords

EMTREE medical terms: adolescent; article; case report; computer assisted tomography; Egypt; history; homicide; human; injury; male; metabolic disorder; mortality; paleopathology; pathology; radiography; young adult
MeSH: Adolescent; Egypt; History, Ancient; Homicide; Humans; Male; Metabolic Diseases; Mummies; Tomography, X-Ray Computed; Wounds and Injuries; Young Adult
Medline is the source for the MeSH terms of this document.