According to new research, DNA test results show that the famous King Tut (Tutankhamun) died of malaria and other possible diseases. Also, while he was alive King Tut was weak, and walked with a cane because of a bone deformity in his feet. Here's the full article from National Geographic:
King Tut Mysteries Solved: Was Disabled, Malarial, and Inbred"Frail boy" needed cane, says study, which also found oldest genetic proof of malaria
for National Geographic News
Published February 16, 2010
King Tut may be seen as the golden boy of ancient Egypt today, but during his reign, Tutankhamun wasn't exactly a strapping sun god.
Instead, a new DNA study says, King Tut was a frail pharaoh, beset by malaria and a bone disorder—his health possibly compromised by his newly discovered incestuous origins.
The report is the first DNA study ever conducted with ancient Egyptian royal mummies. It apparently solves several mysteries surrounding King Tut, including how he died and who his parents were.
"He was not a very strong pharaoh. He was not riding the chariots," said study team member Carsten Pusch, a geneticist at Germany's University of Tübingen. "Picture instead a frail, weak boy who had a bit of a club foot and who needed a cane to walk."
Regarding the revelation that King Tut's mother and father were brother and sister, Pusch said, "Inbreeding is not an advantage for biological or genetic fitness. Normally the health and immune system are reduced and malformations increase," he said.
Short Reign, Lasting Impact of King Tut
Tutankhamun was a pharaoh during ancient Egypt's New Kingdom era, about 3,300 years ago. He ascended to the throne at the age of 9 but ruled for only ten years before dying at 19 around 1324 B.C.
Despite his brief reign, King Tut is perhaps Egypt's best known pharaoh because of the wealth of treasures—including a solid gold death mask—found during the surprise discovery of his intact tomb in 1922.