Originally created 05/11/05

Photos detail King Tut's face



CAIRO, Egypt - The first CT scan facial reconstructions of King Tutankhamun's mummy have produced images strikingly similar to the boy pharaoh's ancient portraits, with one model showing a baby-faced young man with chubby cheeks and a round chin.

That model, a photo of which was released Tuesday, bears a strong resemblance to the gold mask of King Tut found in his tomb in 1922 by the British excavation led by Howard Carter. The man depicted has soft features and a weak chin, and his eyes are highlighted by thick eyeliner.

Three teams of forensic artists and scientists - from France, the United States and Egypt - each built a model of his face based on about 1,700 high-resolution photos from CT scans of his mummy to reveal what he looked like the day he died.

The CT scans - the first done on an Egyptian mummy - have suggested King Tut was a healthy yet slightly built 19-year-old, standing 5 feet, 6 inches tall.

The teams were able to dismiss a long held theory that Tut, who died around 1323 B.C., was murdered by a blow to his skull or killed in an accident that crushed his chest. It raised a new possibility for the cause of death: Some experts on the scanning team said it appeared Tut broke his left thigh severely - puncturing his skin - just days before his death, and the break could have caused an infection.



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