King Tut’s Tough Life

The Journal of the American Medical Association doesn’t usually report autopsy results. But they make an exception this week: for King Tut. The study of the boy king involved DNA analysis and CAT scans.

Researchers [led by Zahi Hawass of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo, Egypt] used genetic fingerprints from Tut and 10 presumed relatives to map out his most accurate five-generation family tree to date. It reveals a family history of clubfoot and scoliosis. And CAT scans of Tut turned up foot deformities, like a missing toe bone, and bone necrosis, which means some of his foot bones were dying due to poor blood circulation. Previous scans had identified a femur fracture.

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