A “virtual autopsy” has revealed that King Tutankhamun suffered a variety of health maladies because his parents were brother and sister.
Scientists tested the Egyptian pharaoh’s mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited only from the mother, to determine she was the sister of Akhenaten, who was proven Tutankhamun’s father by DNA testing done in 2010.
Researchers at Italy’s Institute for Mummies and the Iceman used genetic analysis of the boy ruler’s family and more than 2,000 computer scans of his mummified remains to perform the autopsy.
The results are revealed in a BBC One documentary, “Tutankhamun: The Truth Uncovered,” which will air Sunday.
The researchers found Tutankhamun, who died at 19 years old, had a club foot, feminine hips, and a pronounced overbite.
He also developed Kohler’s disease, a rare genetic disorder that results in loss of blood to bones in the foot – and is more likely to be passed down if two first-degree relatives produce children, according to researchers.
Ancient Egyptians believed incest kept bloodlines pure, not understanding the serious genetic implications of intermarrying.
Historians know Tutankhamun owned 130 walking sticks and sat down to shoot bows and arrows, but they had not understood why until the testing was conducted.
Artwork discovered in his tomb suggested Tutankhamun had a passion for chariot racing, but researchers said his disfigured foot would have made that impossible.
Earlier examinations of his remains led historians to believe Tutankhamun may have been murdered or died following a chariot crash, but only one of those fractures – below the knee – happened before his death.
Researchers said Tutankhamun most likely died from an inherited ailment as a result of his family history.
Watch this video report posted online by PatrynWorldLatestNew: