Posted in: Theories

King Tut Died From Epilepsy, Surgeon Suggests

King Tut Epilepsy

It could have been epilepsy that killed King Tut, if a surgeon at Imperial College London is to be believed. The surgeon, Hutan Ashfarian, based his theory on Tut’s family history, as well as his propensity for religious visions.

Ashfarian analyzed ancient images of pharaohs who are thought to be Tutankhamen’s immediate predecessors, and discovered that they, just like the fabled pharaoh, died at young ages with feminized features (both signs that his theory is correct), reports Newser.

Many of Tut’s supposed predecessors also experienced hallucinations or religious visions, including Tut, which are often experienced by those who suffer from temporal lobe epilepsy.

Ever since King Tutankhamen’s tomb was discovered in 1922, nearly intact and lavishly furnished, the cause of the young king’s death more than 3,000 years before has been the focal point for intense debate, notes The Washington Post.

The many theories about his death include murder, leprosy, tuberculosis, malaria, sickle-cell anemia, a snake bite, and even a suggestion that he died after a fall from his chariot.

All of these theories, according to Hutan Ashrafian, have missed the vital point that Tutankhamen died young with a feminized physique, along with his immediate predecessors.

Smenkhare is thought to have been Tut’s uncle or older brother, while Aknenaten is thought to be the boy king’s father. Painting s and sculptures that show the two appear to show feminized figures, including large breasts and wide hips.

The two pharaohs before Akhenaten (Amenhotep III and Tuthmosis IV) appear to have had similar physiques. This, combined with the fact that all of them died young and mysteriously, lead Ashrafian to believe that they died from an inherited disorder.

Ashrafian also notes that each pharaoh appears to have died slightly younger than his predecessor. Historical accounts hint at what that disorder may have been as well. Ashrafian stated that, “It’s significant that two [of the five related pharaohs] had stories of religious visions associated with them.” This is because people with temporal lobe epilepsy have been known to experience hallucinations and religious visions after exposure to sunlight.

This form of epilepsy also contributes to the pharaohs’ more feminine features, as the temporal lobe is connected to parts of the brain that release hormones, altering the levels of hormones involved in sexual development.

Howard Markel, a medical historian at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has stated that Ashrafian’s theory is “a fascinating and plausible explanation.”

While Hutan Ashfarian’s theory about how King Tut died could be true, we may never know, as there is no genetic test for temporal lobe epilepsy.

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Comments

13 Responses to “King Tut Died From Epilepsy, Surgeon Suggests”

  1. Tishia Chambers

    Wow, this is kind of cool to know epilepsy has been around forever. But it was misunderstood in ancient times and even as recent as the 60's ("demonic possesion").

  2. Bonnie Baylor

    I've had epilepsy for 33 years and it is still misunderstood by some people including a least one Neurologist I use to see. Sometime people call them'fits' which is really stupid. But I'm glad the experts are still talking about it, the medicines, the causes, etc.

  3. Candi Richards

    this is beyond stupid… they have no proof that epilepsy was even present in him, let alone the cause of his death. Just because he died young? Back then, you were lucky to see 30. Most people had children around 13, married by 26 and were dead by 30, at the oldest. King tut died at a reasonable age, for that time. He may have died from a genetic disorder of some sort, considering the similarities in the feminine features in the pharaohs, but saying it was epilepsy can't be proven and is all just a theory. There is not a shred of evidence that epilepsy was there at all. Doctors are still, to this day, misdiagnosing epilepsy, all on "theories". Just because someone had seizures doesn't in any way make them epileptic. You can have a seizure for a number of reasons including complications from medication, diseases, low blood sugar, cancer, etc. Without any definitive proof, doctors shouldn't diagnose ANYTHING!

  4. Candi Richards

    this is beyond stupid… they have no proof that epilepsy was even present in him, let alone the cause of his death. Just because he died young? Back then, you were lucky to see 30. Most people were married at 13, had children around 16 and were dead by 30, at the oldest. King tut died at a reasonable age, for that time. He may have died from a genetic disorder of some sort, considering the similarities in the feminine features in the pharaohs, but saying it was epilepsy can't be proven and is all just a theory. There is not a shred of evidence that epilepsy was there at all. Doctors are still, to this day, misdiagnosing epilepsy, all on "theories". Just because someone had seizures doesn't in any way make them epileptic. You can have a seizure for a number of reasons including complications from medication, diseases, low blood sugar, cancer, etc. Without any definitive proof, doctors shouldn't diagnose ANYTHING!

  5. Candi Richards

    I get very involved when it comes to anything related to epilepsy, allergies and food allergies. I cant help myself. lol

  6. Loretta Magee-Schnittker

    Epilepsy is one of the last remaining medical problems that can’t seem to shed its stigma. Fact is one in ten of us will have a seizure in our lifetime.

  7. Jose F. Londono

    Ok so the only thing that I know works is to try to stay stress free, little or no alcohol or just taking up a hobby that keeps you busy and your mind constantly going. Oh and lets not forget taking your meds on time and staying in contact with the doc. I know for me any time that I lose to much sleep there is a chance that I will get an episode. Although there are many that say what they know what causes epilepsy I don't think anyone really knows. It is scary to know that there is a chance you will get one that will eventually take your life, that is why I try to live one day at a time and to the fullest. I have had just about all forms of episodes at one time or another. It is a fate that I was born with, sometimes it just happens that way. I say this all the time "people, life is to short don't waste it away enjoy it."