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Cape Breton Post - - CLASSIFIED -

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) — Egypt’s famed King Tu­tankhamun suf­fered from a cleft palate and club foot, likely forc­ing him to walk with a cane, and died from com­pli­ca­tions from a bro­ken leg ex­ac­er­bated by malaria, ac­cord­ing to the most ex­ten­sive study ever of his more than 3,300-yearold mummy.

The find­ings were from two years of DNA test­ing and CT scans on 16 mum­mies, in­clud­ing those of Tu­tankhamun and his fam­ily, the team that car­ried out the study said in an ar­ti­cle to be pub­lished Wed­nes­day in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion.

It also es­tab­lished the clear­est yet fam­ily tree for Tut, in­di­cat­ing for the first time that he was the child of a brother-sis­ter union.

The study said his fa­ther was most likely Akhen­aten, the pharaoh who tried to rev­o­lu­tion­ize an­cient Egyp­tian re­li­gion and force his peo­ple to wor­ship one god. The mummy shown by DNA to be that of Tut’s mother also turned out to be a sis­ter of Akhen­aten, though she has not yet been iden­ti­fied.

Tut, who be­came pharaoh at the age of 10 in 1333 B.C., ruled for just nine years at a piv­otal time in Egypt’s his­tory. While a com­par­a­tively mi­nor king, the 1922 dis­cov­ery of his tomb filled with stun­ning ar­ti­facts, in­clud­ing the famed golden fu­neral mask, made him known the world over.

Spec­u­la­tion had long swirled over why the boy king died at such a young age. A hole in his skull long fu­eled spec­u­la­tion he was mur­dered, un­til a 2005 CT scan ruled that out, find­ing the hole was likely from the mum­mi­fi­ca­tion process. The scan also un­cov­ered the bro­ken leg.

In con­trast to the golden splen­dor he was buried with, the new­est CAT scans and DNA tests re­vealed a sickly teen pharaoh, weak­ened by con­gen­i­tal ill­nesses fi­nally done in by com­pli­ca­tions from the bro­ken leg ag­gra­vated by se­vere brain malaria.

The team said it iso­lated DNA of the malaria par­a­site in sev­eral of the fam­ily’s mum­mies, in­clud­ing Tut’s — the old­est such dis­cov­ery.

“A sud­den leg frac­ture pos­si­bly in­tro­duced by a fall might have re­sulted in a life threat­en­ing con­di­tion when a malaria in­fec­tion occurred,” con­cluded the ar­ti­cle in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion. “ Tu­tankhamun had mul­ti­ple dis­or­ders... He might be en­vi­sioned as a young but frail king who needed canes to walk.”

Like his fa­ther, Tu­tankhamun had a cleft palate. He also had a club foot and suf­fered from Kohler’s dis­ease in which lack of blood flow was slowly de­stroy­ing the bones of his left foot — an of­ten painful con­di­tion, the study said. It noted that 130 walk­ing sticks and canes were dis­cov­ered in Tut’s tomb, some of them with trace of wear sug­gested they had been used.

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