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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 November, 2004, 22:14 GMT
Tests may end Tutankhamun mystery
A museum visitor looks at one of the coffins found with Tutankhamun's mummy
Tutankhamun's cause of death remains a mystery
Egypt is to test the Tutankhamun mummy to try to discover what the young king died of more than 3,000 years ago.

The mummy will be moved from the tomb in Luxor's Valley of the Kings where it was discovered in 1922 to Cairo for the tests by the end of November.

"We will know about any diseases he had, any kind of injuries and his real age," Egyptian antiquities chief Zahi Hawass told Reuters news agency.

Whether the pharaoh died of illness or was murdered has never been resolved.

When the coffin was last opened in 1968, an x-ray revealed a chip of bone in his skull, prompting speculation that the boy-pharaoh had been murdered.

But other evidence suggests the pharaoh, thought to have died in his teens, was ill.

We will know the answer to whether he died normally or was he killed
Zahi Hawass, Egyptian antiquities chief
The treasures found in the tomb along with the mummy, including a fantastic gold death mask, were removed by the British discoverer Howard Carter and are usually on show in Cairo Museum.

But the mummy itself has remained sealed in the tomb.

Now Culture Minister Farouk Hosni has approved a plan to move Tutankhamun's body for the first time, to the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo.

Reports suggest the mummified remains, consisting of his skull, chest bones and two other bones, will undergo three-dimensional CAT X-rays and a radio scan using equipment newly donated to the museum.

"We will know the answer to whether he died normally or was he killed," Mr Hawass told Reuters.

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06 Aug 02 |  Entertainment


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