King Tutankhamen: How Did He Die?

Pages: 5 (1719 words) Published: August 26, 2013


Was King Tut murdered or did he die from an illness? This age old question has continued to puzzle historians, Egyptologists, and scientists for many years. There are many different theories as to how he died and all of them continue to be contentious topics. Some will argue King Tut was likely murdered due to greed and power, while others believe he fell from his chariot or died from an illness. So many theories surround his death that it’s impossible to rule out an exact cause of King Tut’s death. With that information at hand, and centuries of forgotten facts, one thing is certain there will continue to be many theories as to how King Tut died.

If King Tut was murdered, some research and evidence point to a few limited servants that could have been responsible for his death. Their motives were likely centered on greed or the changing environment Akhenaten (King Tut’s father) had created upon his death.

It was a known fact that Akhenaten brought about a major change in Egypt. He had pushed the idea of one god and this concept went against everything the Ancient Egyptians believed in. Priests, who had temples, spent their whole life’s worshiping and honoring their beloved gods. When Akhenaten acquired the throne he changed their thinking and he might have forced them to shut down their temples and revert to his religion, which was unheard of at the time. As result of this sweeping movement, many historians believed this created an unstable environment that might have upset Akhenaton’s royal court and its citizens; the change was drastic and must have required a firm position to change hundreds of years of thinking.

Akhenaten died when King Tut was a child and he was given the throne at a young age. If Akhenaten did create a hostile environment, his son would’ve had to deal with the new state of Egypt. To make matters worse, King Tut was a child and probably did not have the intellect to run Egypt. This would’ve meant that more experienced subjects of King Tut would have helped him—mainly Ay and Horemheb. Because these two officials had such a strong presence in King Tut’s life and had direct access to him, many stories surround them. Just being the son of Akhenaten must have been difficult for a young boy who probably wanted to go about his business uninterrupted. This situation alone breeds hate from those who oppressed Akhenaten and his new teachings. They probably perceived King Tut’s death as a way out to restore Egypt to its old ways.

Other theories as well have come to light though scientific examination. Forensic experts from Egypt did an examination on King Tut and came up with a different explanation as to why King Tut died. It was found that he may have died due to an infection. They are quick to point out that King Tut was not murdered and believe the crack in the skull was probably caused during the mummification process. Anything could have happened during this process such as his body being dropped or an instrument hitting his skull.

Just recently, new CT scans of King Tut have been performed and the results shed new light into King Tut’s death. The scans revealed a broken leg that may have been responsible for the death of King Tut. Doctor Zahi Hawass says, We found that he had a fracture on the left leg. And that fracture proved to have happened a few days before he died. It was before mummification, and therefore it could happen, we are not sure it could have happened that he died because of this accident. So King Tut might have not been murdered after all.

Some have extended this theory that his step further suggested that he fell from his chariot while hunting. Though his leg could have broken from many of daily activities we’ll never know how exactly he broke his leg. If King Tut was murdered it would almost be impossible to solve due to the many years of...
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