Tutankhamun | Em Hotep!

Posts Tagged ‘Tutankhamun’

zz-00One of the fun things about running a website like Em Hotep is that you get to see behind-the-scenes things, like the queries people are entering into search engines to find Em Hotep.  The vast majority are terms and questions you would expect for an Egyptology website, but some questions can seem a little off the wall, until I think back to my own early interest in ancient Egypt and the questions I used to ask.  So some friends recommended I answer them.  Some might make you chuckle, some might make you think.  But either way, it should be a fun read.  The answers will be brief, so don’t expect to get any research done with this article, just pour a cup of coffee and enjoy.

Special thanks goes to writer and artist Ben Morales-Correa, who operates both the All About Egypt and BMC PhotoArt Tutorials websites for suggesting that I take these questions seriously and answer some of them, as well as Donna Elliot who suggested that this might even be a good idea for a chapter in a book, also an idea I rather like…

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16
Oct

Medicine and Mysteries: Case Studies in Mummy Forensics

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Mummies

Medicine and Mysteries is a sneak preview of the much larger mummies section coming to Em Hotep.  The format of the mummies section will be to present introductory summaries of relevant topics followed by video clips, followed by links to primary and secondary resources.

In this installment:  The search for Nefertiti, mummies and heart disease, was Tut murdered, mummies and dental care, ancient brain surgery, tracking Lady Tahat and sexing Lady Hor..  Much more..

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Two weeks ago I posted my article about the JAMA* report’s analysis of King Tut’s foot problems and how they might have potentially led to his downfall (no pun intended).  One of the elements of my argument was that Tutankhamun was missing a toe bone in his right foot.  But he wasn’t (and probably still isn’t).

I had based my contention on a typo in one of the tables in the JAMA report, a typo that is contradicted in numerous places throughout the rest of the article, a series of dots which I somehow failed to connect.  As a result, Gentle Reader Monica gently but concisely took me to task for my mistake in the Comments section of the article.

Now a writer for a much more high-profile (at least for now) outfit than Em Hotep has made the same mistake.  So shamey-shamey on us.  But how did the same mistake make it past the editors of the Journal of the American Medical Association?

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So much for the evil god Set keeping his mouth shut—people just seem to insist on questioning authority.  The JAMA article is jammed with answers, but queries continue.  Assembled here for your pleasure and edification are the best examples of critical questioning culled from the Egyptological blogosphere.    

Tangled roots, the passed-over prince, aging them bones, lack of control, and Kate Phizackerley’s Quest for Accuracy.

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Was King Tut a warrior king or “one sick kid”?  Even as the Family of Tutankhamun Project was publishing its findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association that the Boy King was a frail young man who needed a cane to walk, Egyptologist W. Raymond Johnson was publishing his evidence that Tut was an active young man who rode chariots into battle.

So which is the true Tut?  What if both versions are accurate?  Could this perfect storm of physical challenges and adventurous behavior have led Tutankhamun to a heroic but early grave?

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23
Mar

The Mummies Gallery

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News, Mummies, New Kingdom

Meet the mummies of the Family of Tutankhamun Project!  If you are looking for a mummy-by-mummy summary of the recent JAMA article, then you are in luck! 

In The Mummies Gallery we will take a look at each of the mummies in both the study and control groups and pull together the familial and pathological data for easy referencing.

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Was King Tut murdered?  Did Akhenaten have both a male and female physiology?  Did incest and inbreeding lead the Eighteenth Dynasty down a genetic dead end?  Last month the Family of Tutankhamun Project attempted to answer these questions—and more—with the publication of a two-year forensic study of sixteen mummies of the Eighteenth Dynasty.

This article is the first of several in which we will attempt to put the research into layperson’s terms.  First we will take a look at the what, who, where, why and how of the study itself.

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Plus:  Catching Up Em Hotep!

All the world is abuzz with the long-awaited release of the current genetic study of the Eighteenth Dynasty, particularly as it relates to the goose that continues to lay the golden eggs—King Tut. 

Your humble scribe is still mulling over the subject before attempting his own contribution, but in the meanwhile, here are a few excellent pieces from some of the most excellent writers in the Egyptology blogosphere.  In the spirit of parsimony, I have narrowed my selection down to the three which I found to be the most unique in their approach and thought provoking in their implications.  Enjoy!

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tut chariot-tabKing Tut is known as the Boy King for two reasons.  The first is the young age at which he assumed the throne—around eight or nine.  The second is that he died at around nineteen, so he never really reached adulthood.  Why he died so young is a question that has been with us since his tomb was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922.

In 2005 a team of top radiologists conducted a series of CT scans on Tutankhamun’s mummy, and when the results were announced the following year at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, the results were not 100% conclusive.  Most of the team felt they had settled the question of what had caused Tut’s early death, but there were some holdouts. 

So when Zahi Hawass announced last August that he was on the verge of announcing the exact cause of Tut’s death, Em Hotep! took notice.  So does a new article and video on Dr. Hawass’ website finally put the question to rest?

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tut-tabTutankhamun’s tomb lasted undisturbed for thousands of years, but after mere decades of constant visitors the most famous burial site in the world is on the endangered list. 

It would seem we have found the infamous Curse of King Tut, and it is us…

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ZahiHawass2-tabOctober has come and gone and it’s time to review our checklist of things Dr. Zahi Hawass had  “promised, hinted, and suggested” would occur during—if not before—last month.  So how did he do?

It is kind of hard to say someone had a bad month when they successfully reclaimed five artifacts from the Louvre and were appointed Vice Minister of Culture.  So call me a taskmaster, but those two things were not on the list…

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20
Oct

Nefertiti a Bust? October Checklist Update

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News

Nefertiti_berlinWe have a status report on the effort to repatriate Nefertiti, thanks to an interview with Dr. Zahi Hawass published in Spiegel Online International this morning.  The prognosis looks dim.  In fact, the goal seems to have moved somewhat.  When asked if he really wanted to remove Nefertiti from her new home, Dr. Hawass replied “Not by any means.”

What could this portent for our October Checklist?  With eleven days to go, maybe it’s time we reviewed.

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16
Oct

The Swiss Mummy Project Wraps Up Current Experiment

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News, Mummies

smp-tabThe University of Zurich’s Swiss Mummy Project, headed by anatomist and paleopathologist Dr. Frank Ruhli , has succeeded in mummifying a human leg.  Well, two legs, actually.  Ok, to be honest, the test subject didn’t go so well, so I guess it was one leg after all. 

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6
Oct

Squelching Scholarship? The Case of Ahmed Saleh

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News

rms1b-tabOctober just got busier for Egypt’s prize fighter, Zahi Hawass, as another contender steps forward.  The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has taken up the cause of one of his subordinates at the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), charging Hawass with using his position to muzzle dissenting opinions.

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28
Sep

Blogroll Roundup for September 28, 2009

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News

Prophets in Egypt, the Luxor Museum, someone else mapping the geneology of the Eighteenth Dynasty, more Egyptian medicinal practices, KV63, and a toast for Tut…

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