A King Tut chariot race thousands of years ago have have been the cause of the teenage Egyptian pharaoh’s death. King Tut’s death has been a mystery for a century, but a report claims he sustained life-threatening injuries during a chariot race.
Researchers told The Independent newspaper that he likely died during a chariot race when he fell down. They performed a “virtual autopsy” that found injuries likely were due to getting smashed by a chariot.
King Tut, whose full name is Tutankhamun, likely died in 1323 BCE at the age of 18 or 19.
The Independent reported that experts called on car-accident investigators to create a computer simulation of chariot accidents. It suggested that he was hit by a chariot while he was on his knees.
The accident shattered his ribs, pelvis, and severely damaged his heart.
King Tut is the only mummified Egyptian pharaoh whose heart was missing.
Further tests noted that his body was burned while it was sealed inside his coffin. Embalming oils were likely the culprit in this case, they found.
“The charring and possibility that a botched mummification led the body spontaneously combusting shortly after burial was entirely unexpected, something of a revelation,” Dr Chris Naunton, director of the Egypt Exploration Society, told the paper.
Tutankhamun ruled from 1333 to 1324 BCE.
Channel 4 in the U.K. will broadcast a special about his death on Sunday.
“The emergence of a fragment of the pharaoh’s flesh provides a unique opportunity to crack this mystery, and brand new chemical tests lead Dr Naunton to a shocking conclusion: that King Tut’s body spontaneously combusted due to a botched mummification,” says the channel. “Combined with new evidence of Tutankhamun leading the charge in Egypt’s foreign wars, what emerges is a new image of this young ruler, and a tragic battlefield death,” it continues.
He received worldwide attention after Englishmen Howard Carter and George Herbert found his tomb in 1922 in Egypt’s Valley of Kings.
Previously, researchers posited that he died of malaria.