London, Nov. 3: Forensic science and luck have finally unraveled how “boy King” Tutankhamun died in 1323BC, aged 19.
The mystery behind his death deepened after archaeologist Lord Carnarvon died in Cairo shortly after he and Howard Carter found Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.
British experts believe that injuries on his body are akin to those sustained in a chariot accident and that his mummification was botched.
Dr Chris Naunton, director of the Egypt Exploration Society, was intrigued when he found references in Carter’s records of the king’s body having been burnt.
A clue came from Dr Robert Connolly, an anthropologist at Liverpool University, who was part of the team that X-rayed his remains in 1968. Among the bones in his office he recently found a piece of Tutankhamun’s flesh, the Independent reported.
Forensic archaeologist Dr Matthew Ponting and Connolly used a scanning electron microscope to determine that the flesh had been burnt.
Working with researchers from the Cranfield Forensic Institute, scientists performed a “virtual autopsy” that revealed a pattern of injuries down one side of his body.
Their tests also explained why Tutankhamun’s mummy was the only pharaoh to be missing its heart, as it was damaged beyond repair.
His injuries have been matched to a specific scenario – with car-crash investigators developing computer simulations of chariot accidents, their results suggest that a chariot smashed into him while he was on his knees, which shattered his ribs and pelvis and crushed his heart. (ANI)