Researchers have been investigating the mysterious death of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun for decades. New findings point to a traffic accident. The experts now have an explanation for the mysterious self-ignition of the mummy.
The Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun probably died in a car accident, according to new findings by British researchers. According to a documentary that Channel 4 wanted to broadcast, the researchers led by Egyptologist Chris Naunton discovered "characteristic injuries on one side of the body" during a "virtual autopsy" of the child king's remains. A digital reconstruction led her to conclude that the most likely cause of the injuries was a car accident.
According to the broadcaster, the researchers also analyzed a scrap of skin they received from British anthropologist Richard Connoly, who took part in the first X-ray examination of Tutankhamun in 1968. Analysis of the skin confirmed that the mummy had self-ignited in the sarcophagus.
According to the documentary, an "incredible chemical reaction" from the oils used in the embalming of the corpse apparently caused it to spontaneously ignite. This would provide further evidence that Tutankhamun's embalming had gone wrong. "The possibility that botched mummification led to spontaneous cremation of the body shortly after burial is totally unexpected. It is indeed a revelation," said researcher Naunton.
Tutankhamun had ascended to the Egyptian throne at a young age. After nine years of rule, he died in 1324 BC at the age of 19. He is best known to the public for the extremely rich and completely untouched treasure of gold in his tomb. Researchers have been puzzling over the exact cause of his early death for decades.