Siemens CT solves mystery around King Tut's death
A 3,000 year old mystery has been solved, with the help of a CT scan. Egypt's King Tutankhamen was not murdered after all, but rather died 3,000 years ago from an infected leg wound, said Egypt's leading Egyptologist and other experts after examining x-rays of the Pharaoh's mummy produced by a Siemens Medical Solutions' Somatom Emotion 6 mobile CT scanner.
The examination is part of a research project being conducted by Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities using Siemens' Somatom Emotion 6 scanner installed on a trailer. The project also includes CT scans of a large number of other Egyptian mummies.
The mummy of Tutankhamen was discovered in Egypt's Valley of Kings in 1922. An initial x-ray analysis in 1968 revealed a bone splinter embedded in the Pharaoh's skull. This fact -- coupled with the body's hasty mummification and burial -- led to speculation that Tutankhamen had died from head injuries, and possibly had been murdered, Siemens said.
The now completed CT examination, based on images generated from a total of 1,700 slices, found no evidence for this theory, Siemens reported. Instead, the Pharaoh may have suffered from a broken thigh shortly before his death at the age of 19.
Some members of the examination team say that the Pharaoh may have died from an infection of this wound. They refer to the fact that the CT images revealed embalming resin inside the wound, and that there was no sign of a healing process, Siemens said.
Other scientists on the team, however, doubt that the injury was the cause of the king's death. They believe the wound could have been inflicted later by archaeologists examining the mummy, arguing that there was no evidence for haematoma, which should be there if the injury was inflicted during the Pharaoh's lifetime.