King Tutankhamen, also known as King Tut and the boy pharaoh, is one of the world’s most famous pharaohs and not to mention on of the world’s most popular mummies. For thousands of years, scientists have been trying to solve the mystery of King Tut’s sudden death. The boy pharaoh died in 1323 BC between the ages of 18 and 19. With a combination of forensic science and luck, British experts finally revealed what happened to King Tut.
According to The Independent, British experts believe injuries on Tut’s body are akin to those sustained in a chariot accident and that his mummification was mishandled. Dr. Chris Naunton, director of the Egypt Exploration Society, suggested that King Tutankhamen was actually an amateur chariot racer who died in an accident.
Naunton and researchers performed a “virtual autopsy” of Tut’s body. They discovered that one side of his body was patterned with injuries including broken bones. Using car crash simulations as a guide, Naunton concluded that Tut was on his knees when a chariot ran into him, breaking his ribs and hip, as well as destroying his heart beyond repair. This explains why Tut’s body was discovered without a heart.
Prior to this discovery, scientists were intrigued with the 1922 records of Howard Carter, who said that Tut’s body appeared to have been burnt. Dr. Robert Connolly, an anthropologist at Liverpool University, worked with forensic archaeologist, Dr. Matthew Ponting, to see what caused the burns. The chemical tests conducted revealed that Tut’s body had been burned while he was sealed inside his coffin.
Researchers also revealed that the embalming oils used to embalm King Tut combined with oxygen and the linen, causing a reaction that cooked and burned his body. According to Dr. Naunton, “the charring and possibility that a botched mummification led the body spontaneously combusting shortly after the burial was entirely unexpected, something of a revelation.