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Last Updated: Wednesday February 17 2010 08:00 GMT

Clues to what killed 'boy king'

Experts with the mummified remains of King Tutankhamun

The Egyptian 'boy king' Tutankhamun might have died of malaria, a disease spread by infected mosquitoes, and a weak bone disorder experts say.

Scientists have been testing the remains of the pharaoh for two years, using use his blood and DNA to find out more about the way he died.

Before these results, lots of people thought Tutankhamun was murdered.

But the blood tests show traces of malaria in the mummified remains, a medical newspaper in the USA says.

Tutankhamun became king of Egypt when he was nine years old.

The mummified remains of King Tutankhamun
The mummified remains of King Tutankhamun

His tomb was found in 1922 by a team of explorers led by Howard Carter.

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