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Purported medical diagnoses of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, c. 1325 BC-


Rühli, Frank J; Ikram, S (2014). Purported medical diagnoses of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, c. 1325 BC-. HOMO Journal of Comparative Human Biology, 65(1):51-63.

Abstract

King Tutankhamun is one of the most famous rulers of antiquity,thus it is not surprising that a plethora of scientific studies have put forth possible medical diagnoses and causes of his death. Diseases(autologous or infectious), metabolic disorders, trauma (possibly even murder-related), or tumorous conditions have been postulated, frequently only based on secondary data sources. The aim of this article is to critically review all these diagnoses. Since the initial examination of the mummy in the mid 1920s by Howard Carter and others, several dozens of medical diagnoses based on various levels of evidence have been proposed. While some studies did not support any sign of a major disease, others suggested diseases whose existence cannot be proven with the little tissue that is preserved for study. In the last c. five years new examinations of the mummy were performed by computed tomography and ancient DNA analyses,now allowing not only to exclude certain diagnoses that had been postulated earlier, but also to arrive at new theories with a higher degree of certainty concerning the state of health and the early death of this most famous ruler.

Abstract

King Tutankhamun is one of the most famous rulers of antiquity,thus it is not surprising that a plethora of scientific studies have put forth possible medical diagnoses and causes of his death. Diseases(autologous or infectious), metabolic disorders, trauma (possibly even murder-related), or tumorous conditions have been postulated, frequently only based on secondary data sources. The aim of this article is to critically review all these diagnoses. Since the initial examination of the mummy in the mid 1920s by Howard Carter and others, several dozens of medical diagnoses based on various levels of evidence have been proposed. While some studies did not support any sign of a major disease, others suggested diseases whose existence cannot be proven with the little tissue that is preserved for study. In the last c. five years new examinations of the mummy were performed by computed tomography and ancient DNA analyses,now allowing not only to exclude certain diagnoses that had been postulated earlier, but also to arrive at new theories with a higher degree of certainty concerning the state of health and the early death of this most famous ruler.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:February 2014
Deposited On:27 Aug 2014 14:46
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:21
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0018-442X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchb.2013.08.006
PubMed ID:24616928

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