Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Back to Tut
King Tut Wasn't Bludgeoned to Death: Study

According to the researchers, Tutankhamun died at between 18 and 20 years of age and measured about 5-feet, 11-inches in height. They also concluded that the bone fragments found inside the pharaoh's skull came from the first vertebrae in his neck, not his cranium.

Some mishap, perhaps during a modern X-ray examination, probably explains the dislocated fragments, Selim's team concluded. The upper vertebrae may even have made their way into the skull 84 years ago, when a team led by British Egyptologist and Tut discoverer Howard Carter pried off the mummy's golden mask.

"I think this lays to rest the notion that the bone fragments in the head were caused pre-mortem, before his death," said Dr. Joseph Tashjian, a St. Paul, Minn., radiologist and member of the RSNA's public information committee. "It's pretty clear, looking at the images from this study, that they almost certainly came from the removal of the mask from the head. It definitely didn't occur either pre-mortem or even during the embalming period."

Not much new here, except for the bone fragments having come from vertebra and supposedly post-mortem. The broken leg hypothesis is still pretty shaky, however, since it can't definitively be placed pre-mortem. Considering the damage many corpses went through during mummification, this seems speculative at best.