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Last Updated: Sunday November 04 2007 14:54 GMT

Face of ancient boy king unveiled

The mummified remains of King Tutankhamun

The face of one of the most famous ancient Egyptian kings, Tutankhamun, has gone on display for the first time.

The boy king's 3,000-year-old preserved body has been moved from its stone coffin into a clear viewing case in his tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Kings.

Experts say the climate-controlled case will preserve the mummified remains by protecting it from heat and moisture.

The move was made exactly 85 years after King Tut's tomb was first found by British explorer Howard Carter.

Ancient Egyptians often turned their dead into mummies by treating their bodies with special chemicals to preserve them for religious reasons.

King Tut facts
A model of the head of Tutankhamun
Tutankhamun became king aged nine and died 10 years later
It's thought he died from an infection after breaking his leg
His tomb was found in 1922 by a team led by Howard Carter
But experts in Egypt said Tutankhamun's mummy had been badly damaged when it was first discovered.

They said they were also worried that heat from the thousands of tourists who visit the tomb every month could affect the remains and they needed to do all they could to protect it.

Zahi Hawass, who was in charge of moving the mummy, said: "The golden boy has magic and mystery and therefore every person all over the world will see what Egypt is doing to preserve the golden boy."

In 2005, scientists created a model of what they thought Tutankhamun looked like before he died by using really deep scans of his mummy.

The results showed the boy king had plump cheeks, a round chin and a slight overbite.



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