Experts Claim To Have Unraveled The Mystery That Shrouds Tutankhamun’s Death

The death of Tutankhamun has long been shrouded in mystery. The larger-than-life ancient Egyptian leader only lived 17 short years before his life came to an abrupt end. Experts have tossed around a slew of theories regarding his mysterious demise, and as it turns out, the moments leading up to his death were nothing short of traumatic. Now, after years of wondering, experts think they’ve pinpointed the real reason why King Tut’s light went out so early.

King Tut was a product of inbreeding

King Tutankhamun came into the world as Tutankhaten, a name chosen in honor of his father Akhenaten’s belief in Atenism. The baby’s mother was also his father’s sister, and Tut’s inbred DNA left him weak in a number of ways. University of Tübingen geneticist Carsten Pusch told National Geographic magazine in 2010, “He was not a very strong pharaoh. He was not riding the chariots.”

He was "a frail, weak boy"

Instead, Pusch described Tutankhamun as “a frail, weak boy who had a bit of a club foot and who needed a cane to walk.” On top of that, the future king of Egypt had his DNA working against him. The geneticist explained, “Inbreeding is not an advantage for biological or genetic fitness. Normally the health and immune system are reduced and malformations increase.”

A nine-year-old pharaoh

Nevertheless, Tutankhamun had the strength to ascend to the throne of ancient Egypt at just nine years old. He rose to power during a time of great unrest in his country, which stemmed back to his father’s reign. Specifically, Akhenaten had forbidden his people from worshipping multiple gods, as was the norm at the time.

Tut didn't play by his father's rules

Instead, Akhenaten chose to worship a single god named Aten, also known as the sun disk. This didn’t sit well with the ancient Egyptian people, who began to refer to him as the “heretic king.” However, when Tutankhamun became pharaoh, he reversed his father’s decision. He also changed his name to what we know it to be, removing the homage to the god his father worshipped, Aten.