Riddle of Ancient Egypt boy king's death solved?

5th Nov 2013

Egypt-bound tourists set to view one of the world's most celebrated cultural sites should have their appetites whetted by revelations in a fascinating new TV documentary this weekend.

Many artefacts from the tomb of Tutankhamun are housed in the Egyptian Museum - a "must-see" destination for holidaymakers on city breaks to Cairo.

New disclosures surrounding the mummified body of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun to be screened on Channel 4 will include how a botched embalming job caused his body to spontaneously combust inside his coffin.

Scientists also believe a chariot crash was the cause of his death on the evidence of a recent virtual autopsy.

It is now thought a chemical reaction caused by embalming oils sparked the fire shortly after his death in 1323 BC.

Fire investigators who tested fragments from the boy pharaoh's tomb confirm his body was burnt while sealed in his coffin.

The discovery of his almost complete tomb, adorned with a gold coffin and gold funeral mask, was a worldwide sensation when found in 1922 by Howard Carter and the Earl of Carnarvon.

This fuelled huge public interest in ancient Egypt.

Awe-inspiring treasure was discovered in the tomb, including a solid gold death mask encrusted with lapis lazuli and semi-precious stones.

Egyptologist Dr Chris Naunton, who studied Carter's original notes and undertook a virtual autopsy of the body using X-ray and CT scanning technology, thinks Tutankhamun was killed in a chariot crash in battle.

Dr Naunton said: "The charring and possibility that a botched mummification led to the body spontaneously combusting shortly after burial was entirely unexpected, something of a revelation in fact."

Tutankhamun became pharaoh at the age of 10 in 1333 BC and reigned for only nine years until his death.

Tutankhamun: The Mystery Of The Burnt Mummy will be screened on Sunday (November 10) at 8pm.

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