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King Tut, who's your daddy?
Through DNA testing and computerised tomography (CT) scans, researchers have determined that the father of famed Egyptian boy king Tutankhamun was the monotheistic pharoah Akhenaten, Egypt's antiquities head Zahi Hawass announced Wednesday. Analysis has revealed new facts on the boy king, who died at the tender age of 19.
Tutanhkamun was not murdered as archaeologists originally thought, but he died of malaria after a fall, says Hawass.
The murder theory originally came from the fact that Tutankhamun's skull had a hole in the back, which has now been determined is a hole made by embalmers.
The mummy was investigated, along with 11 others, over two years by Hawass, as well as Egyptologists, genetics researchers and medical scientists and anthropoligists. The findings have been published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Four had genetic traces of malaria, while others also had a cleft palate, clubfeet, and flat feet. Walking canes were found in Tutankhamun's tomb, and researchers noted that he had a number of degenerative bone diseases.
Although there had been much speculation as to whether the boy king was effeminate, based on the elaborate golden tomb bust found with his mummy, researchers believe that he was a normal young man. His penis, which was not attached to the body when it was found, was "well-developed."
The scientists did say that the health information gleaned from interpreting artifacts, not from analysing the mummies.
The research also brought to light that his mother was not Egyptian beauty Queen Nefertiti, but an unknown queen, who appears to have been Akhenaten's sister. Interbreeding was common at the time, according to scientists.