Archeologists believe they have cleared up a 3,300-year-old mystery, concluding that King Tut was not murdered but may have died from infection of a broken leg.
The Egyptian-led research team reached the conclusion after performing a CT scan on the Egyptian king's mummified body two months ago. The results were announced Tuesday.
"In answer to theories that Tutankhamen was murdered, the team found no evidence for a blow to the back of the head, and no other indication of foul play," a statement released by the Supreme Council of Antiquities stated.
"They also found it extremely unlikely that he suffered an accident in which he crushed his chest."
Tut died at the age of 19 and mystery has always surrounded the cause of his death, with some speculating he met with foul play.
About 1,700 images were taken of Tut's mummy during the 15-minute CT scan. It was the first CT scan on a member of Egypt's ancient royalty.
The scan revealed a fracture to Tut's left thigh bone, which could be evidence that he suffered a broken leg before he died.
"Although the break itself would not have been life-threatening, infection might have set in," the statement said. Some of the archeologists believed it was possible, although less likely, that the fracture was caused by the embalmers.
The scan also showed that Tut was of a slight build, well-fed and healthy and suffered no major childhood malnutrition or infectious diseases.
"I believe these results will close the case of Tutankhamen, and the king will not need to be examined again," said Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the council. "We should now leave him at rest. I am proud that this work was done, and done well, by a completely Egyptian team."
- FROM OCT. 1, 2002: King Tut unmasked by reconstruction