17 Feb 2010

Death of Tutankhamun attributed to malaria

11:34 am on 17 February 2010

Scientists say the Egyptian 'boy king' Tutankhamun may have died of malaria and was not murdered or killed in an accident.

Their findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, could lay to rest theories of murder over his death at the age of 19.

Scientists have spent the last two years examining the mummified remains of the pharaoh to extract his blood and DNA, and say it revealed traces of the malaria parasite.

They also confirmed Tutankhamun had a rare bone disorder affecting the foot called Kohler disease II, as well as a club foot and curvature of the spine.

The BBC reports Tutankhamun's intact tomb was discovered in the Valley of the Kings in 1922.