The Mystery of Tut Essay

This essay has a total of 1511 words and 7 pages.

The Mystery of Tut



The Tutankhamen Mystery

Nebkheprune Tutankhamen is probably the most famous pharaoh in ancient Egyptian history,
although not the most important. He lived a very short life, from 1503 to 1482 BCE to be
exact. He was the ruler by the time he had turned nine years of age. Nobody really knows
that much about him because he lived to only be around eighteen years old. Only because
of an archaeologist by the name of Howard Carter who discovered Tutankhamen’s tomb on
February 12, 1924 do we even have concrete proof that he even existed
(Desroches-Noblecourt 7). One gigantic mystery about Tutankhamen’s life, is his death.

More than 3,000 years after the death of King Tutankhamen, questions are still being asked
about how he died. Was it a natural death or was he murdered? The possibility that
Tutankhamen did not die of natural causes was first raised 28 years ago when an X-ray
analysis of his mummy was made by the anatomy department of the University of Liverpool.
It revealed that the king might have died from a blow to the back of his head
(Desroches-Noblecourt 18).

The suggestion caused a controversy among Egyptologists and scientists. If he were
murdered, who did it? Was it Aye, Tutankhamen's vizier who followed Tutankhamen as king
and then married his wife, Ankhesenamon? Or was it Horemhab, the army officer who became
king after Aye’s short four-year reign? Some archaeologists believed that Aye and Horemhab
might have killed Tutankhamen together (Maugh).

A few years later, a new X-ray analysis was done only this time it suggested that
Tutankhamen might have been murdered in his sleep. An unnamed trauma specialist at Long
Island University conducted the examination. "The blow was to a protected area at the
back of the head which you don't injure in an accident. Someone had to sneak up from
behind.” X-rays also show a thickening of a bone in the skull, which could occur only
after a build-up of blood (Silverman 191). This would indicate that the king might have
been left bleeding for a long time before he actually died. Scientists believe that the
king was probably hit on the back of his head while asleep and that he was left there,
maybe for as long as two months, before he died. According to Mohamed Saleh,
Director-General of the Egyptian Museum, the original analysis of Tutankhamen's mummy
suggested that the boy king died of a lung disease or even a brain tumor, “that would
explain the lump on the head” (Silverman 195).

When the new analysis was carried out on the mummy, it was suggested that Tutankhamen was
hit on the head and murdered by either Aye or Horemhab. Mohamed Saleh stated:


In my opinion this could not be the case. Because Tutankhamen had no
enemies; on the contrary, he was loved by the priests and the population because he
re-established the stale religion of Amun-Re after the

religious revolution under Akhenaten, and re-opened all temples.
Moreover, Aye and Horemhab would have had no reason to kill
Tutankhamen because he was youth and did not hold authority
(Silverman 197).

Madelen El-Mallakh, Director-General of Luxor Museum, commented on the traces of a blow to
the head: "Who is to say for certain how it was administered, whether it was foul play or
accidental. There is certainly an element of mystery surrounding Tut's death" (Silverman
199)

Bob Brier, an American Egyptologist, believes that Tutankhamen was indeed murdered, and claims he knows by whom:
It was either by his own personal attendant or by his cupbearer. No one
could easily approach the back of the pharaoh unless it was part of his
job to do so. The king's attendant and his cupbearers would be the only
people allowed to enter his bedroom without arousing suspicion (Curse).
Brier added that he would back up his hypothesis with archaeological evidence, which will
be shown, in his documentary, The Great Pharaohs. Such contradictions raised by
Egyptologists prompted the Antiquities and Travel Lovers' Committee (ATLC), an Egyptian
non-profit organization, to re-examine Tutankhamen's mummy and tomb and to carry out
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