Archaeology No Sign Tutankhamun Murdered But Mystery Unsolved

Discussion in 'Archaeology' started by mscbkc070904, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    CAIRO (Reuters) - A three-dimensional X-ray scan of Tutankhamun's mummy found no evidence to support theories he was murdered but failed to solve the 3,000-year-old mystery of how the young Egyptian pharaoh died.

    Some members of the investigative team say he may have died from an infected thigh wound, but others doubt this, saying that injury may have been inflicted later by archaeologists, according to the team's five-page report released on Tuesday.

    Either way, the team's chairman says the case should now be closed and the tomb of the king who died in 1352 BC, aged about 19, should not be disturbed again.

    Some historians have speculated the ruler was murdered, based on his young age and the turbulent political and religious circumstances during that period of Egyptian history.

    "We don't know how the king died, but we are now sure that it was not murder. Maybe he died on his own," said Zahi Hawas, chairman of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

    "The case is closed. We should not disturb the king any more," he told Reuters after the report came out.

    "There is no evidence that the young king was murdered," said a press release attached to the report.

    The report said some but not all of the eight team members suggested he may have died after a serious accident in which he broke his thigh, leaving an open wound which became infected.

    "Although the break itself would not have been life-threatening, infection might have set in," the report said, citing those members of the team. The others disagreed.

    Tutankhamun came to the throne shortly after the death of Akhenaten, the maverick pharaoh who abandoned most of Egypt's old gods and tried to imposed a monotheistic religion based on worship of the Aten, the disc of the sun.

    During Tutankhamun's reign, which lasted about 10 years, advocates of the old religion were regaining control of the country, turning their back on Akhenaten's innovations.

    The report said the CT scan performed in January found no evidence of a blow to the back of Tutankhamun's head and no other evidence of foul play.


    They found that Tutankhamun had a bent spine and an elongated skull but they ruled out pathological causes. They believe the shape of the skull to be a normal variation and the spine resulted from the way the embalmers positioned the body.

    "Judging from his bones, the king was generally in good health ... There are no signs of malnutrition or infectious disease during childhood," the report added.

    Addressing the murder theory, the report noted that the king had two bone fragments loose in his skull. But it adds: "These cannot possibly have come from an injury from before death, as they would have become stuck in the embalming material."

    The team believes the fragments were broken during the embalming process or by the team led by British archaeologist Howard Carter, who discovered Tutankhamun's intact tomb in the Valley of the Kings in southern Egypt in 1922.

    Advocates of the broken thigh theory noted that there was embalming material inside the thigh wound and no obvious evidence that the wound healed, suggesting the fracture took place only days before death.

    But other members of the team said the fracture was the work of Carter's team when they removed the mummy from the coffin. "They argue that if such a fracture had been suffered in life, there would have been evidence for hemorrhage or hematoma present in the CT scan. They believe the embalming liquid was pushed into the fracture by Carter's team," the report said.

    The team thinks it has found Tutankhamun's penis, which was present in the 1920s but had gone missing by the time of an examination in 1968. "Although they cannot be certain, the team believes that they have located (it) ... loose in the sand around the king's body," the report said.
  2. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    I bet you the King is tired of being probed and he is falling apart...does it really matter how he died? Will it make that much impact on history?
  3. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

  4. tablet

    tablet Premium Member

    Interesting story.

    I'm still amaze at how people go about finding out things like this. It's sooo old and yet they can figure out??

    It might not make that much impact whether we find out how he died or not. But it does help us connect dots, maybe knowing how he died might lead to other story in the time of egyption?
  5. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    I dont think it will make an impact. I mean to spend that much time and resources on one figure that, amy have just died of natural causes and with the insides completely eroded, no one can tell. And if the physical attributes dont determine a story then, so be it. Its a mystery and remains so, so move onto more about the era that he did live and tell us more about what the kingdom was like when he was ruler. Did he make an impact there as far as economy, culture, or what have you.
  6. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    News Update: Possible New Development

  7. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    Update: King Tut Liked Red Wine

    Ancient Egyptians believed in properly equipping a body for the afterlife, and not just through mummification. A new study reveals that King Tutankhamun eased his arduous journey with a stash of red wine.

    Spanish scientists have developed the first technique that can determine the color of wine used in ancient jars. They analyzed residues from a jar found in the tomb of King Tut and found that it contained wine made with red grapes.

    This is the only extensive chemical analysis that has been done on a jar from King Tut's tomb, and it is the first time scientists have provided evidence of the color of wine in an archaeological sample. The report appears in the March 15 edition of Analytical Chemistry, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

    The earliest scientific evidence of grapes is from 60-million-year-old fossil vines, while the first written record of winemaking comes from a much more recent source, the Bible, which says Noah planted a vineyard after exiting the ark.

    Scientists have detected wine in a jar from as far back as 5400 B.C., found at the site of Hajji Firuz Tepe in the northern Zagros Mountains of present-day Iran. But the earliest knowledge about wine cultivation comes from ancient Egypt, where the winemaking process was represented on tomb walls dating to 2600 B.C.

    "Wine in ancient Egypt was a drink of great importance, consumed by the upper classes and the kings," says Maria Rosa Guasch-Jané, a master in Egyptology at the University of Barcelona in Spain. She and Rosa M. Lamuela-Raventós, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition and food science, have analyzed samples of ancient Egyptian jars belonging to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and the British Museum in London.

    One sample came from the tomb of King Tutankhamun, discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter in Western Thebes, Egypt. The inscription on the jar reads: "Year 5. Wine of the House-of-Tutankhamun Ruler-of-the-Southern-On, l.p.h.[in] the Western River. By the chief vintner Khaa."

    "Wine jars were placed in tombs as funerary meals," Guasch-Jané says. "The New Kingdom wine jars were labeled with product, year, source and even the name of the vine grower, but they did not mention the color of the wines they contained." Scientists and oenophiles have long debated the type of grape that ancient Egyptians used in their wines.

    Using a new method for the identification of grape markers, Lamuela-Raventós and her coworkers determined that the wine in this jar was made with red grapes.

    Tartaric acid, which is rarely found in nature from sources other than grapes, has been used before as a marker for the presence of wine in ancient residues, but it offers no information about the type of grape.

    Malvidin-glucoside is the major component that gives the red color to young red wines, and no other juice used in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean region contains it. As wine ages, malvidin reacts with other compounds forming more complex structures. The researchers directed their efforts toward developing a tool for breaking down these structures to release syringic acid.

    Analysis of ancient samples requires a very sensitive method to minimize the amount of sample that needs to be used. To detect syringic acid, the researchers used a technique called liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry in tandem mode, which is known for its high speed, sensitivity and selectivity. This method has never before been used to identify tartaric acid or syringic acid, nor has it been used on any archaeological sample, according to the scientists.

    Lamuela-Raventós and Guasch-Jané plan to use the new technique in more extensive studies of wine residues from other archaeological samples.

    Sourc: Science Daily