Talk about a late bloomer.
Even though the guy has been around for about 3300 years, Pharaoh Tutankhamun has been known to the world for less time than OREOs.
After Tut died as an 18-year-old around 1323 BCE, his tomb was forgotten to the point that workers were once housed in huts constructed atop his tomb, having no idea of the treasures buried under their feet.
Discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, Tut’s nearly intact tomb excited the world and kicked off a craze for all things ancient Egyptian.
On this date in 1924 Carter opened Tut’s sarcophagus, revealing the boy king’s mummified body to the outside world for the first time in 33-centuries. Since then, Tut has become “living” proof that dead men do tell tales.
Although some have speculated that Tut was murdered, modern technology reveals that his death was probably accidental, as he was discovered to have broken a leg shortly before death, which became infected. Evidence of multiple-malaria infections was also present, and some researchers believe he had sickle cell disease.
Recent DNA evidence has revealed a family lineage that Ancestry.com wouldn’t touch. Tut’s family had several instances of incest, including his parents, and Tut’s own wife is now believed to have been his half-sister. These couplings created a genetic cesspool in the royal line that made it not so good to be king.
Tut was found to have an elongated skull, a cleft palate, and mild scoliosis. The genetic flaws could have been what killed the two fetuses found mummified in Tut’s tomb, which recent tests indicate are his offspring.
Excavations are currently under way on a tomb called KV64 in the Valley of the Kings, which may turn out to belong to Tut’s queen, Ankhesenamun (Queen Angst?).
Despite being forgotten by the world for three-millennia, Tut got the last laugh. As one author has noted, “the pharaoh who in life was one of the least esteemed of Egypt’s kings has become in death the most renowned.”
Now about that curse …