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17 février 2010 3 17 /02 /février /2010 09:29


A 10:00, conférence de presse spéciale au Caire sur la famille de Toutankhamon


Press Release - Press Conference to be held at Egyptian Museum
The Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, will hold a press conference on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 11:00 am in the Cairo Museum to announce new discoveries surrounding the family of Tutankhamun and the cause of the young king’s death. Reporters from around the world have been invited to attend this important event.

Dr. Hawass examines the mummy of Tutankhamun in his tomb. (Photo: SCA)The study on the family of Tutankhamun was conducted through the Egyptian Mummy Project (EMP) headed by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and a team composed of Egyptian scientists from the National Research Center, members from the Faculty of Medicine at Cairo University, and two German DNA specialists.

In the past, the EMP has conducted two further studies on ancient Egyptian mummies. The first project, which was carried out in 2005, performed a CT-Scan of the mummy of Tutankhamun. The study concluded that the king had died at the age of 19, but that contrary to earlier speculation, had not been murdered by a blow to the back of the head – Egyptian scientists revealed that the hole was created during Dynasty 18 in order to insert mummification liquid. Scientists also noted that the young king suffered a fracture to his left leg a day or so before his death. The EMP’s second project succeeded in identifying the mummy of Queen Hatshepsut from among remains found in KV 60 in the Valley of the Kings. These findings have been published in scientific articles.

Dr. Zahi Hawass and the scientists involved in the EMP’s latest study submitted an article to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), who approved of the study’s scientific method. The article will be published on February 17; the same day as the press conference.

The study was conducted inside two DNA laboratories which are under the supervision of the Supreme Council of Antiquities; one is located in the basement of the Cairo Museum, and another is in the Faculty of Medicine at Cairo University. These are the only two DNA laboratories exclusively aimed at the study of ancient mummies.

Further information: VIDEO: How Did King Tut Die?
Further information: Press Release - Tutankhamun CT scan

VIDEO: How Did King Tut Die?
Before the tomb of King Tutankhamun was found, Egyptologists knew very little about this short-reigned king.  Since the discovery of KV 62 in 1922, King Tut has become the most famous pharaoh, and there has been much debate about why he died so young.

How did King Tut die?

You can find a transcription of this video on Heritage-Key.com.

Related Egyptology Video: Treasures Hidden in the Cairo Museum's Basement
It is not only at excavation sites that amazing artefacts can be discovered, but the archives of previous digs as well as the artefacts already in museums can still surprise us. Or what about the basement of the Cairo museum?  Watch the video.
Egyptologists previously thought that it was most likely that Tutankhamun was the brother of Akhenaton, and the son of Amenhotep III. Now much more is known about the Amarna Period and the lives of Akhenaton and Tutankhamun.  Through studying the reliefs and historical texts, it seems very unlikely that he could be the son of Amenhotep III.  Tutankahmun was born in Amarna, so we now believe his mother was probably Kiya, an Egyptian princess and wife of Akhenaton, who likely died when she was giving birth to Tutankhamun.

Recently we CT scanned the mummy of King Tut to examine his life and death in depth and determine how he died.  We found that he died at the age of 19, and that he was not murdered, as people have long speculated. Previous studies and X-rays of the body showed a hole in the back of his head, so many people took this as evidence that he was murdered.  But studies of the CT scans show that this hole was made in the back of his head in order to pour the liquid used in mummification into his body after he died.  We also found that there was a fracture in his left leg.  CT scans revealed this damage was not caused by Howard Carter.  We know that when Carter found the mummy, it was covered with the golden mask and other gold pieces.  When he tried to take the mask and the rest of the gold off, he had to use forceful methods and ended up damaging the mummy, breaking it into 18 pieces.  Previous scholars thought this fracture in the leg was caused by Howard Carter, but we discovered it was the result of an accident that happened shortly before he died.

From artistic and historical sources, we know that King Tut used to go hunting and riding in the desert around Memphis.  Now the most likely scenarios are that he fell off while riding and broke his leg, or that he was fighting in a war and was injured.  The broken leg most likely led to complications that resulted in his death.  Now for the first time, we have been able to find scientific evidence of Tutankhamun’s cause of death.

Further information: King Tutankhamun: The Treasures of the Tomb
Further information: Dig Days - King Tut was the Son of Akhenaton
Zahi Hawass's blog

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