Leg fracture and brain malaria cause King Tut’s death?

King Tut's legsAhead of tomorrow’s press conference on King Tut’s DNAand relatives, some of the news already escaped. Pharoah Tutankhamun died of complications from a broken leg aggravated by malaria. And his family? ‘Most likely’ (still) Akhenaten is the daddy, with one of Akhenaten’s sisters being Tutankhamun’s mum (and thus also his aunt!).

The article – to be published tomorrow in the Journal of the American Medical Association alongside the press conference – contains results of over two years of research in two different dedicated ‘mummy labs’.

It was already (though maybe not that widely) known that King Tut was not murdered, and most likely died because of complications after a leg fracture. CT-scans and DNAtests by the team of scientists now confirm this, adding that the young king was already weakened, and his condition after fracturing his leg was aggravated by a nasty case of cerebral malaria.

Tutankhamun sufferered from a cleft palate (like his presumed father, Akhenaten) and had a club foot (like presumed grandfather, Amenhotep III). In combination with Kohler’s disease (a lack of bloodflow causes the bone tissue to die, then bone to collapse) this must have severely weakened his immune system over time.

More details are likely to follow (or so we hope) after tomorrow’s press conference. Nevermind that one!Please, follow me here for some splendid photographs of the DNA sampling in KV62, courtesy Discovery Channel.