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King Tut Killed by a Knee Infection?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the clearer-picture-from-clearer-pictures dept.

Science 152

adminsr writes to tell us the Discovery Channel is reporting that an Egyptian-led research team claims to have found compelling new evidence relating to the cause of death of King Tutankhamen From the article: "According to the Italian doctors, it was likely that King Tut suffered a violent blow, most likely by a sword. The blow would have lodged gold fragments from the decorations of the Pharaoh's armour or dress into the knee."

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Obvious... (3, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643158)

Never demonstrate how your subjects should bow down to you while holding a sword.

So... (2, Funny)

Darlantan (130471) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643165)

Does this mean that King Tut developed 'Gold Fever'?

Re:So... (1)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643302)

No, but I'm sure all combat vets know it was a golden injury!

BACTINE (1)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643823)

Had his "mummy" put bactine on it quickly, maybe he wouldn't of had an infection! Ok....you can shoot me now for the reference to "mummy"

Re:So... (1)

krakelohm (830589) | more than 8 years ago | (#14644027)

Maybe all he needed was a shmoke and a pancake.

Easy Discovery (3, Funny)

imoou (949576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643169)

King Tut's left index finger is pointing at his wound.

How about the 130 walking sticks??? (0)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643217)

Indeed, about 130 walking sticks found among King Tut's fabulous treasure would support the theory he may have had trouble with walking during the last days of his life.

Errrr... You think???? Why did anyone in their right minds find this unusual?? I can only think of the one reason and that there was 130 of everything in the tomb. Also, how hard is it to find an arrorhead in a body??

Re:How about the 130 walking sticks??? (2, Insightful)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643403)

Who said anything about unusual? For that matter, who said anything about an arrowhead? Tutankhamen was believed to have died from a blow to the head which led to partial paralysis, hence the walking sticks, but now we found scraps of gold in the knee which look like decorations from armor, suggesting he healed over a wound from presumably a sword which gave way to infection which killed him.

How that got modded informative is beyond me.

Re:How about the 130 walking sticks??? (4, Informative)

Skjellifetti (561341) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643577)

The Nat'l Geographic story [nationalgeographic.com] on the CT scans debunks the head injury. IIRC, the Nat'l Geo TV special described the knee injury as bad enough that it ripped a knee cap off. There was some question about whether the knee injury was caused near time of death or was a result of Carter's butchery at time of discovery. Carter's team did a lot of damage to Tut, but the Nat'l Geo team found the presence of structures that demonstrated that the knee was trying to heal. From the size of the structures, which have a known rate of change, the team estimated that he died 3 days after the blow.

Re:How about the 130 walking sticks??? (4, Funny)

wiresquire (457486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643740)

"...but the Nat'l Geo team found the presence of structures that demonstrated that the knee was trying to heal."

Perhaps the mummy was regenerating ?!!???!!!

AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! Run !! Must get away!

form vs. function (4, Funny)

quintesson (118019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643179)

This must have set the gold armour industry back centuries.

Re:form vs. function (2)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643281)

Once a king went jousting wearing a gold visor. Well, gold's expensive, but not exactly hard--in fact, pure gold is very malleable. Long story short, king gets hit in gold visor, visor shatters, piece hits eye, king dies. Lesson: if you happen to be Medieval royalty, wear goldfoiled steel (or iron) armor.

Re:form vs. function (3, Funny)

ultranova (717540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643365)

Lesson: if you happen to be Medieval royalty, wear goldfoiled steel (or iron) armor.

Better yet, wear perfectly ordinary steel armor. That way every enemy archer won't be able to aim at you from the other end of the battlefield. Wearing an armor that screams "target me !" just to appease your vanity is a really stupid thing to do.

Re:form vs. function (3, Insightful)

bipolarpinguino (944613) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643474)

Or just do what leaders do today and not goto war at all and sit on your fat ass at home.

Re:form vs. function (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14643837)

Yes, well back in those days there was some sort of honor code where you don't shoot at the leadership of your enemy until all the grunts are dead. Or something like that, anyway. Doesn't make much sense to us now, but apparently it did then.

Re:form vs. function (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14643904)

I thought it was quite the opposite: once the leader was dead, the troops were meant to stop fighting.

The king being very visible could confirm to his troops that he was still alive, and it provided good morale.

Posted anon, because it's off topic.

Re:form vs. function (1)

VagaStorm (691999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643839)

I think the idea of beeing seen on the battle field is somwhere in the lines of: fight on, se the king still fights with us :p

Re:form vs. function (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643369)

That's why they call it "Bling-bling" these days.

Obligatory Bangels reference (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14643181)

It must have been difficult to "Walk like an Egyptian" after that.

Right, I'll get my coat.

Re:Obligatory Bangels reference (1)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643280)

Nice :). But wouldn't however he walked have been walking like an Egyptian, by definition?

Could it be.... (4, Funny)

d474 (695126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643183)

...that King Tut was killed by the "Knights That Say 'Ni'!"?

Re:Could it be.... (1)

d474 (695126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643190)

Archaeologists have some audio evidence of this epic battle:
The Ni File [moviewavs.com]

Re:Could it be.... (1)

fredistheking (464407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643203)

We are now no longer the Knights Who Say Ni.
We are now the Knights Who Say Ecky- ecky- ecky- ecky- pikang- zoop- boing- goodem- zoo- owli- ziv.

Re:Could it be.... (4, Funny)

reverseengineer (580922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643384)

...that King Tut was killed by the "Knights That Say 'Ni'!"?



All that golden splendor, but killed for want of a shrubbery. Tragic, really.

Killed by his lust for gold (0, Troll)

Are you a NIGGER (850302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643186)

So he was into gold jewelry and it ended up killing him? I guess this makes King Tut the world's first nigger.

Interesting (3, Funny)

mabu (178417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643187)

I find it very interesting that Italian doctors are speculating King Tut had a knee injury. Maybe he had a few outstanding debts from gambling on some camel races?

Re:Interesting (0, Flamebait)

Bob McCown (8411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643428)

Nice Pyramids. Wouldn't want anything to happen to them, now, would you?

We're privileged (5, Interesting)

SigILL (6475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643196)

What's interesting about this is that in king Tut's days wounds like that generally were lethal. How privileged we are living in this modern age (and having access to anti-biotics)!

Re:We're privileged (4, Funny)

Tx (96709) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643210)

What's interesting about this is that in king Tut's days wounds like that generally were lethal. How privileged we are living in this modern age (and having access to anti-biotics)!

Yeah, I think that every time I'm in a sword fight! ;)

Re:We're privileged (1)

bhiestand (157373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643751)

What's interesting about this is that in king Tut's days wounds like that generally were lethal. How privileged we are living in this modern age (and having access to anti-biotics)!

Yeah, I think that every time I'm in a sword fight! ;)

Actually, you should think about that every time you're not in a swordfight.

Re:We're privileged (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14643303)

Only if you are favored of God. He doesn't allow those whom He does not favor the luxery of affording anti-biotics.

Re:We're privileged (2, Informative)

yogikoudou (806237) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643355)

Indeed we are.
More information about this:
I saw a documentary a few weeks ago on the death of Tutankhamun, and they were coming to this conclusion as well. The first hypothesis were that he had been killed, as a piece of bone was missing at the back of his skull; blood was also present around this hole. It turned out that it might have been made during embalming.
They were also speculating on the many fractures the mummy presented. They were annoyed by the really bad general state of the body, mainly because the first people to discover it cut it into pieces to move it easily (it was stuck by dried body and embalming fluids in the golden coffin). This didn't help them in thei search for lethal wounds, until they found this piece of bone near the knee.
The king broke his leg near the knee, and died about a week later (they know it by looking at the amount of cartilage that started to grow on the broken bone).
Their conclusion was that this wound wouldn't have been lethal in our days, thanks to antibiotics.
It was a really interesting documentary, and quite a fascinating search (determining the cause of death 3300 years after it happened).

Re:We're privileged (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14643703)

The ancient Egyptians treated their wounds with a substance almost as effective as modern day antibiotics - honey. Actually, with many bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics, there is renewed interest in using honey medically. No word yet on whether gold armor will be coming back into vogue anytime soon.

http://archives.cnn.com/2000/HEALTH/alternative/03 /08/honey.healing.wmd/ [cnn.com]

No and Yes (1)

Debiant (254216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643851)

That I wondered also.

I mean it's true that medicine at average wasn't really advanced.
But let's however look what was the best level one could get. The level pharaosh and kings had.

Egyptians mummified their dead, and propably had knowledge of many illnesses. After all they did build pyramids and had allkinds of knowledge of astronomy, so it's not far fetched to think they could known the problems Tutankhamon had with his knee. Certainly he couldn't have been first Eqyptian to be harmed by sword and suffering from a severe knee injury?

Reading books of history(I do it a lot), kings and rulers of past times did many times have good experts on medicine and seemed to know things many things we know now. Things that never ended to common use in their era. The diffrence between common folk and their rulers in that respect was far bigger than it is today I think.

Did Tutankhamon refuse to be treated?

Another way to look at it ... (4, Interesting)

willtsmith (466546) | more than 8 years ago | (#14644075)


Well, perhaps he was just too rich to eat mouldy bread. Perhaps a peasent stone-mason would have survived the same wound.

I think.. (5, Funny)

seabre (889946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643198)

death due to pimp accessories is pretty bad ass.

A View to a Bling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14643453)

Did you see the Tut exhibit in LA? That bling headdress must weigh pounds and with all those edges could definitely be used to beat some unsuspecting Hebrew pyramid-building slave into a bloody pulp.

Worlds first Bling death (4, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643201)

the blow would have lodged gold fragments from the decorations of the Pharaoh's armour or dress into the knee."

And the writing was litterally on the wall.

Kids dont do bling.

How many ways can the guy die? (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643215)

Can't we get a better source for these things than the discovery channel? I rarely watch TV and yet I have STILL seen three documentaries explaining how King Tut died, all in different ways. Died from an infection due to gold dust? I guess it is possible, but it seems fairly far fetched to me. Is there a reason that they didn't publish their findings in a regular journal like Nature or Science or whatever journal Egyptologists use? The whole thing seems rather like fools gold to me.

Re:How many ways can the guy die? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14643254)

The whole thing seems rather like fools gold to me.

Yeah, kind of like a pyramid scheme.

Re:How many ways can the guy die? (4, Informative)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643419)

No no, the gold dust didn't cause the infection. Gold is a noble metal, and is non-toxic. It's just that we found little gold bits embedded in his knee that look like pieces of armor, and that means he got stabbed or slashed, and back in those days, that pretty much always meant infection anyway. With that context, what is known about how he died makes much more sense, and so now a knee infection - the gold is just evidence of the wound - is the most likely cause of death.

Is there a reason that they didn't publish their findings in a regular journal like Nature or Science or whatever journal Egyptologists use?

Er, they did. Slashdot just doesn't cover those. Thing is, we *do* cover physics journals, and the method they used to detect the gold in the first place is of interest to physicists. This also got into medical journals and traveller's journals (national geographic being the only traveller's journal most people recognize.)

Re:How many ways can the guy die? (1)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643440)

Feh. Another crackpot theory.

I don't know that much about physiology or medicine, but based on what I know about King Tut I'd say that what killed him was shoveling his guts into clay pots, wrapping him in bandages, and burying his ass in the middle of the desert.

Based on observation of current-day politicians I cannot say for certain whether sucking his brains out through his nose was a contributing factor.

Bemopolis

Re:How many ways can the guy die? (1)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643471)

The source isn't Discovery Channel. The actual source is the Alto Adige daily newspaper. Its not even the discovery channel, it is the Discovery news that has translated the article for your enjoyment and pleasure.

Re:How many ways can the guy die? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14643500)

I also think I saw something on the discovery channel about Tut having some sort of spine deformity (scoliosis?) and they cited that as the reason for all his canes.
Also, the article says nothing about when he would have been hit with a sword. That is, was there a war going on at the time? Does anyone even know what was happening during his lifetime?

Re:How many ways can the guy die? (1)

Feanturi (99866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643524)

Died from an infection due to gold dust?

I feel a fourth Discovery Channel documentary coming on: King Tut - Human, or Cyberman?

Re:How many ways can the guy die? (1)

rayhigh (912376) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643531)

It was the gold dust - King Tut was a Cyberman! Quick, into the TARDIS, Sarah and Harry...

Re:How many ways can the guy die? (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643735)

I can't help thinking that Tut's death was the JFK assassination of his day. "It was the Mafia with a stone club to the back of his head! No, the Cubans with a sword to the knee! No, the CIA gave him the plague! I've got a witness who saw an archer on the grassy knoll!"

Re:How many ways can the guy die? (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643905)

No, it was Col. Mustard in the foyer with the candlestick.

Armor? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643221)

Armor that covered the knee? This was 1500 BC not AD.

Also, I thought Egyptians were advanced enough to have dealt with infections from wounds. Poison? Maybe an accidental and embarrasing wound that he wouldn't let someone attend?

Re:Armor? (1)

dlasley (221447) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643409)

No matter how advanced they were, nothing indicates they had any more understanding of antibiotics [wikipedia.org] than other cultures of similar cultural and scientific precedence:
From Wikipedia
Many ancient cultures, including the ancient Greeks [wikipedia.org] and ancient Chinese [wikipedia.org] , already used moulds [wikipedia.org] and other plants to treat infection [wikipedia.org] . This worked because some moulds produce antibiotic substances. However, they couldn't distinguish or distill the active component in the moulds.
We've only had them as a class of drug for the past ~80 years, thanks to Alexander Fleming [wikipedia.org] , Howard Florey [wikipedia.org] and Ernst Boris Chain [wikipedia.org] , and it wasn't even widely used until World War II.

Now, poison is an intriguing idea and an interesting point of research. Was poisoning prevalent in the days of Tutankhamen, and who would dare use it against a King, knowing such an action, if discovered, could lead to drastic retribution? My curiosity is piqued, and thus my productivity is about to decline rapidly as I start bringing up history sites in other tabs ...

&laz;

Re:Armor? (1)

dlasley (221447) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643953)

Amendment time: medical practicioners of Ancient Egypt did have an understanding of the fact that bacteria do not grow well in honey [reshafim.org.il] , so it's possible the King would have received timely treatment of a tasty type (ahh, alliteration). It is hard to tell from the resources I read if that understanding or the effectiveness was as extensive as that surrounding moulds (PP).

No luck yet on the poison angle - looks like it was most commonly administered by drink, and often by members of the religious sects. Gee, whoulda thunk ...

&laz;

Re:Armor? (4, Interesting)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643458)

Armor that covered the knee? This was 1500 BC not AD.

Actually, it was 1322. By the New Kingdom, Egypt had complex armor making capabilities. They were in fact distributing chariot armies all over the Senet area on a standardized-width rut road system, something typically attributed to Rome. Egypt had some fairly complex metallurgy practices, and even had rudimentary pit steel-making capabilities, though there were no surface iron deposits nearby for them to really use in the way that the Assyrians did.

The reason you don't see armor on depictions of Egyptian warfare isn't a technological one in the sense that they didn't know how to make armor, but rather that the climate generally didn't allow for it - Egypt is fucking hot, and people would cook. Tutankhamen and other pharoahs wore armor as a ceremonial and last ditch protective thing (fat lot of good it did him,) and could get away with it because they were being moved in covered, shaded transportation vessels. Even then, several pharoahs are never depicted wearing armor - Seti I and Setnahke being good examples, shown wearing only normal clothes and the lapis crown.

Re:Armor? (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643702)

Perhaps my memory serves me wrong, but I thought that the Egyptians only acquired the ability to work iron after the 18th dynasty. Wasn't the lack of iron technology a major reason for the difficulty the Egyptians had in fighting the Hittites under the Ramessides, in the 19th dynasty?

Re:Armor? (2, Insightful)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 8 years ago | (#14644087)

Armor doesn't have to be iron or steel. Leather, or just padded material have also been used. Wood has also been used in armor, as well as a number of other natural materials.
People didn't wait for the late middle ages (which is where you would have found the classical plated steel armor one usually associates with the term) to seek protection from physical harm.

Re:Armor? (2, Informative)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14644155)

Your memory does serve you wrong. They had pit steel at the time. The bulk of armor in the day was bronze, due largely to availability. And no, it was lack of iron, not lack of iron technology. Doesn't matter if you know how to work it if you don't have much to speak of.

what else can one say.. (1)

b100dian (771163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643224)

..than 'break a leg'?

The only thing we don't know... (1)

squoozer (730327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643231)

Is what he had to breakfast on the third full moon after the winter solstice. How many thousand years has this guy been dead? That's some pretty good detective work.

I am not surprised (0, Flamebait)

seguso (760241) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643245)

It am not surprised it was Italian doctors. Thanks to the pressure of Vatican, almost any kind of medical research is now forbidden in Italy, including pre-implant diagnosis. Diagnosing the mummy must have been the only thing left allowed.

Re:I am not surprised (1)

xao gypsie (641755) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643779)

you sir, are an idiot.....

LOLOWNED (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14643253)

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING. FUKN PWNT NUB KEKEKEKEKEKE ^_______^;;;;;;;;;;;;

I'm skeptical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14643271)

We have gold driven into a wound in the knee?
Tell me about the nature of this gold. Was it from gold armour? Was the armour pure gold? How thick was it? If the armour was pure thick gold, it isn't likely that it was driven into the knee.
How about gold leaf on leather armour? The gold goes on the outside making it unlikely to be driven into the knee.
Another explanation is that the ancients revered gold and thought that it had curative properties. I think it just as likely that the gold was intended as medication.
I didn't see a reference to a peer reviewed article in tfa. (Maybe I missed it.) My theory is just as good as theirs until someone proves me wrong. I mistrust scientists who publish in the popular press before they publish in peer reviewed journals.

19? (4, Informative)

daivdg (930179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643273)

...1333 B.C., at the age of nine, and reigned until his death in 1325 B.C., aged 19...

Wouldn't he have been 17 or 18?

Re:19? (2, Informative)

britneys 9th husband (741556) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643423)

Looks like an editor typo. Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] says his reign began in 1334 BC not 1333 BC.

Not without TV and the Internet, etc. (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643706)

Time moves much more quickly now.

Without a PSP or Gamecube to wile away the hours, it probably felt like a lifetime!

Nuts (4, Funny)

Ranger (1783) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643286)

First scientists announce they think the Ice Man, Oetzi [wikipedia.org] was infertile. How could they know that? And now they are saying King Tut was killed by a knee infection. Had they not lived two thousand years apart on different continents. They could have hypothesized that King Tut kneed Oetzi in the nuts so hard it sterilized him. Oetzi in an attempt to fend off the blow was holding either an arrowhead or flint knife at just the wrong angle so that it cut King Tut's knee and cut off his testicles at the same time. But solving historical mysteries aren't that easy.

Re:Nuts (1)

lanc (762334) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643346)

...scientists...
what sciencists? whoa, important fact, worth to research. Interesting sure. Now, how many millions did that research cost, Safranek?

Why he didn't get it taken care of. (1)

pharwell (854602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643287)

He probably kept saying, "It's only a flesh wound!"

Re:Why he didn't get it taken care of. (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643444)

No. He did the eye-glow and voice thing, and said "Bring me another Tau'ri host body. This one is scratched!"

That should teach him! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14643292)

Struck on the knee, eh? That should teach King Tut to never go up against Tonya Harding [wikipedia.org] in an ice skating competition!

Re:That should teach him! (1, Flamebait)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643336)

Yeah, ice-skating is popular in Egypt I hear.

Re:That should teach him! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14643468)

You make erroneous assumptions about the absence of winter sports in desert countries:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/44916 50.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:That should teach him! (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643758)

Cool, find me a link about the BC equivelant, and I'll concede your point :P

Hmm... (1)

DnasTheGreat (915201) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643309)

But isn't gold germicidal?

Re:Hmm... (1)

thaWhat (531916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643394)

I wouldn't say germicidal, but I'm pretty sure that it's biologically neutral. Given that it has been used for dental fillings, I would say that the chances are that it isn't poisonous...

Re:Hmm... (3, Informative)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643395)

Silver is. Gold is largely inert; this is the reason it's used for
teeth, electrical contacts, etc. Of course it's possible the body
could still simply recognize it as being foreign and try to fight
it but it'd just make a lot of puss I think. Undoubtedly something
else could've entered at the same time.

Re:Hmm... (2, Interesting)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643680)

Probably not, you might be thinking of cis-platin, the anti-cancer drug, which contains platinum (of all things) but it bears as much resemblence to platinum as aspirin does to charcoal.

A bit suprising to me... (1)

coastin (780654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643312)

due to the ancient Egyptians use of honey as an antibiotic. It is some great forensic work, none the less. I didn't think the head injury was the cause of death, but just looked like an effect of the embalming process. You have to wonder if his mummy had been around to kiss the boo boo and make it better, would he have lived a full life?

Re:A bit suprising to me... (1)

abscissa (136568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643340)

Honey is not really an antibiotic, it is a preservative, and that is the way the Egyptians used it.

Due to the extraodinarily high sugar content, no bacteria can grow in honey, and it is, at least in theory, possible to preserve things in honey indefinately. (Obviously air exposure is limited as well.) People have even been mumified in honey.

Re:A bit suprising to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14643397)

Doesn't matter if it's the queen bee's finest honey or neomycin, 'cuz if you're applying it topically there's no chance of it fending off any serious infection. now if those coptic paramedics had thought of mainlining that honey into tut...

Question (1)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643321)

I've seen on the same channel a show on Imhotep (they did it to feed off of the publicity of the Mummy movies). They mentioned on the showed that he discovered the use of honey as an antiseptic. So if that's true then the Egyptians had antiseptics, what is the likelihood of Tut dying from an infection like that? Maybe the ancient medicine wasn't powerful enough for a wound like that. If the researchers can see that the gold fragment were decorations of birds, then it must have been noticable. Why did the Egyptian doctors not remove it?

Answer (4, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643906)

Getting an infection in a joint like the knee is a Bad Thing, even in today's antibiotic infested world. The nasty little bacteria that were hanging around on the sword suddenly got stuck in a rich, tasty nutrient soup (blood and bone) and started to multiply like gangbusters. Unless the Egyptians knew to open the wound up and clean it out thorougly, the topical "antiseptics" that they had would be of little use. Just like putting an antibiotic cream on a deep wound.

If Mr. Tut had wandered into a modern ER after some serious sword play he would have had the wound irrigated thoroughly, perhaps in the operating room where it could be opened up and inspected. He then would have been given IV antibiotics. And a large bill.

So it's not too surprising that a little bit of honey or whatever didn't work out too well for him.

Funky Tut (4, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643367)

Must've sustained the injury during his move from Arizona to Babylonia

Missing history (5, Interesting)

lifeisgreat (947143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643426)

I can't help but feel disappointed that for every new discovery surrounding Tut, his accomplishments and wealth were insignificant compared to the majority of Egyptian rulers. We'll barely know a fraction of what we could if their tombs were similarly intact.

Just think of all the history that is gone forever - the Alexandrian library containing most of the world's knowledge up to that point, the slaughter of the Druids, who thanks to not having a system of writing took their people's knowledge rites and history with them to the grave, the Indus civilization which 5,300 years ago developed cities that were more sophisticated than many that Pakistan's and India's people currently live in, where the hell the Basque people came from and why their culture is so distinct from the rest of Europe, the origins of the Sphynx, and heck a lot more. All gone forever.

Re:Missing history (5, Funny)

drewxhawaii (922388) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643567)

this is the single most depressing thing i've read on /.

Re:Missing history (1)

drewxhawaii (922388) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643581)

i did a little research and found this:

We find in Caesar's Gallic Wars the first and fullest account of the Druids.

All instruction was communicated orally, but for ordinary purposes, Caesar reports, the Gauls had a written language in which they used the Greek characters.

No druidic documents have survived. "The principal point of their doctrine", says Caesar, "is that the soul does not die and that after death it passes from one body into another".

Not that minor (2, Informative)

vlad_petric (94134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643753)

His rule marked the transition from the "heretic" Atenism (worshiping of the Sun god as the only true god) of his father back to the old ways of the Egyptian religion. For example, his name was originally Tutankhaten (Living Image of Aten) but he changed it to Tutankhammun (Living Image of Ammun), to show that he abandoned the religion of his father [thanks wiki]. Those were really troubled times, so it's quite interesting to know why exactly he died.

There's many things we don't know, starting with the origin of hommo sapiens. I personally consider historical non-determinism to make the subject much more interesting.

Too Much of a Good Thing (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643543)

So Tut went out from a gold overdose? Looks like his whole funerary display is a 3D hieroglyphic epitaph of just that demise.

Re:Too Much of a Good Thing (1)

MrSquishy (916581) | more than 8 years ago | (#14644017)

Indeed, he may have Over Golded [imdb.com]

Killed by gold? (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643689)

Since when is gold toxic?

Or are they saying King Tut was a Cyberman?

Re:Killed by gold? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14643748)

Most of the heavy metals are poisonous, if enough gets into your system. The main difference between gold and say lead is that lead is easy to disolve in acid, so lead water pipes are.'t a good idea (slightly acid water flowing through can disolve small quantities that can build up in the body of people that drink from that source.

Nothing to see here. (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643738)

the Discovery Channel is reporting that an Egyptian-led research team claims to have found compelling new evidence relating to the cause of death of King Tutankhamen
The Discovery Channel has been reporting on new theories of Tutankhamen's death every six months of so for years... Next to sharks it's their biggest infatuation.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14643747)

...First we had Achilles heels, and now Tut knees. What's next, Moses' burning bush?

I'm a tad skeptical about this article (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643790)

The article claims that, "After Akhenaten's death, a mysterious ruler named Smenkhkare appeared briefly and exited with hardly a trace." However, everything I've ever read on the subject says that Smenkhare was Tutankhamun's older brother, and was co-ruler briefly during their father's reign, but died young. I've never heard of a claim that Smenkhare ruled on his own at any time. I'm not saying that this discredits the report, but that it makes me wonder just how accurate the rest of the historical parts are.

what has king tut got to do with slashdot? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14643847)

does anyone know?

sigh, just more slashcrap

Re:what has king tut got to do with slashdot? (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14643880)

King Tut ran an early version of linux on his computer.

Re:what has king tut got to do with slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14644020)

Most likely, he ran Windows on his kneetop, which became a cause for massive viral, worm, and trojan infections.

They're still trying to figure what the Trojans were doing there, and it is speculated that they were simply lost.

frost 4iSt (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14644006)

Rotting coRpse We'll be able to

Wow (1)

mlerner (601733) | more than 8 years ago | (#14644056)

King Tut was killed by a knee infection? I guess he needed head more.

Chuck Norris does not fear King Tut (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14644138)

Chuck Norris enters the roayl throne room and with a single roundhouse kick to King Tuts knee he was destroyed. That is all. Chuck shall let the rest of you live so that you may be in awe of his greatness.
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