June 30, 2010
King Tut Theory Says Pharaoh Had Small Penis
The New Scientist reported this week that King Tut's mummy might have been sabotaged in order to hide his less than endowed genitalia.
Scientists have long speculated the cause of famed King Tutankhamen's death to be because of a bone disorder and a bad case of malaria.
However, a group of German researchers overruled that diagnosis last week by saying the 19-year-old pharaoh suffered from sickle-cell anemia. Sickle-cell anemia is a genetic abnormality in red blood cells that ultimately causes organs to fail.
New Scientist journalist Jo Marchant uncovered another proposed ailment of King Tut while researching the new prognosis.
A letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that Tut could have also suffered from Antley-Bixler syndrome, a genetic mutation that brings about strange physical effects, such as elongated skulls and under-developed genitalia.
Egypt's chief archaeologist Zahi Hawass dismisses the theory and says that Tut was well endowed. However, Marchant says that Tut's penis is no longer attached to the body.
After some digging, Marchant discovered that the king's genitalia was attached to the mummy during its first unwrapping in 1922, meaning that postmortem castration likely occurred in modern times.
Tut's penis was declared missing in 1968 until a CT scan discovered it hidden in the sand that surrounded the mummy.
This evidence has lead some to believe that Tut's genitalia was swapped after his body was embalmed, suggesting a conspiracy existed to save him from afterlife embarrassment.
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