News that King Tut’s chariot will leave Egyptto join the final leg of the ‘Tuankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs’ exhibition in New York its first trip abroad has been confirmed by an SCA press release. In the same release Dr Hawass and his team say they continue to stand behind the findings published in JAMA earlier;King Tut died of complications from malaria and Kohlers disease.
Mr. Farouk Hosni, Minister of Culture, confirmed that one of King Tuts chariotsis travelingto New York City, the first time that a chariot from Tutankhamun’stomb will be allowed out of Egypt. The chariot will arrive in New York City on Wednesday and will be accompanied by a conservator and the Director of the Luxor Musuem, where the chariot is currently displayed.
The Odd One Out
This chariot that is on its way to the Discovery Times Square Exposition(Dr Hawass would have preferred the MET) stands outfrom the other five chariots found among Tutankhamun’s burial treasures. Compared to the ceremonial chariots(see the slideshow here), it lacks decoration and has a very light, open sided construction. Its tires are extremely worn, suggestingthechariot was used frequently in hunting expeditions, possibly by the young king. Howard Carter – who found the chariot in the south-east corner of the Antechamber along with three other chariots, described the chariot as, of more open, lighter construction probably for hunting or exercising purposes.
Maybe it was King Tut’s hunting chariot, or just a fun, nimble knock-around – the 18th dynasty’s equivalent of a privileged young man’s sports car, Helen appropriately proposes in our earlier announcement.
Earlier CT-scans (theirdataused to ‘3D print’ an exact clone of King Tut’s mummy for the Discovery Square exhibition) have shown that King Tutankhamun suffered a fracture to his left leg, which is often attributed to as apparently, there were no stairs to tumble down from in Ancient Egypt a ‘hunting accident’. Dr Hawass says the Boy King’s broken bone makes the inclusion of Tutankhamuns chariot to the New York exhibit even more interesting; the young king may have fallen from this very chariot. He adds, As we discover more about Tutankhamuns death, we may find that this very chariot is an important piece of the puzzle that weve been working for decades to solve.
Team stands behind ‘Malaria and Kohler’s Disease’
The second part of the statement concerns the medical report detailing the testing done on Tutankhamun and members of his family that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The article, Ancestry and Pathology in King Tutankhamuns Family (and accompanying TVdocumentary ‘King Tut Unwrapped’)describes how Dr. Hawass and his team uncovered part of the King Tut family tree, as well as a probable cause of death.
Besides the usual responses – debate about racial genetics (King Tut is Scottish?) and left-out Pharaohs (Smenkhare) – scientists from Hamburgs Bernhard Noct Institute for Tropical Medicine replied to research in a letter send to JAMA. In the letter, they dispute the claims that King Tut died of malaria, and suggest sickle-cell disease as an alternative cause of death. The SCA’s statement reads that while some of the symptoms between malaria and sickle-cell disease are similar, Dr. Hawass and his team, stand behind their findings and reaffirm that Tutankhamun died of complications from malaria and Kohlers disease, an ailment that effects blood supply to the bones.