16 Of History's Best Kept Secrets
16 Of History’s Best Kept Secrets

16 Of History’s Best Kept Secrets

Steve - November 26, 2018

16 Of History’s Best Kept Secrets
Tutankhamun’s death mask. Wikimedia Commons.

1. Despite his international fame, how Tutankhamun actually died at the young age of only 18 remains a mystery

Tutankhamun was an Egyptian Pharaoh belonging to the 18th dynasty, born in 1341 BCE and reigning during the New Kingdom period between 1332-1323. Discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter, the intact condition of his tomb immediately ignited worldwide interest in the young pharaoh. Despite a century of scientific and archaeological inquiry, little is known concerning the reign of the teenager. Provoking the most debate has been speculation regarding the death of the 18-year-old pharaoh, with no records surviving concerning Tutankhamun’s passing. Given the condition of the tomb, with microbiologist Ralph Mitchell suggesting that the paint on the walls indicate that the deceased king was entombed prior to the walls drying, it is widely assumed that the young monarch died suddenly and unexpectedly prior to his crypt being completed.

Whilst some claim that Tutankhamun was assassinated, others assert that his death was accidental. Modern medical examination of Tutankhamun’s remains highlight a compound leg fracture inflicted shortly before his death, leading to speculation that the injury developed a fatal infection. Medical analysis has also indicated the presence of malaria and Köhler disease II, either of which might have played a role in his demise. Other theories highlight evidence of sickle cell disease, a partially cleft palate, in addition to a host of other congenital defects and commonplace illnesses of the day. Adding to these already myriad speculations, in March 2018 a new proposal suggested that tomb images depict Tutankhamun leading an army to war in Syria whereupon he may have fallen in battle.


Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“Who Was The Man In The Iron Mask? And Other Historical Mysteries”, Hugh Williamson, Penguin Publishing (2002)

“The Man Behind the Iron Mask”, John Noone (1998)

“Tracking the Ark of the Covenant”, Charles Foster, Monarch Publishing (2007)

“The Quest For The Ark of The Covenant: The True History of The Tablets of Moses”, Stuart Munro-Hay, L.B. Tauris & Co (2006)

“The Man Who Never Was”, Ewen Montagu, Naval Institute Press (1953)

“A History of Greek Fire and Gunpowder”, James Partington, Johns Hopkins University Press (1999)

“Silphium”, Chalmers Gemmill, Bulletin of the History of Medicine (July/August 1966)

“Genghis Khan”, Paul Ratchnevsky, Blackwell Publishing (1993)

“The Secret History of the Mongols: A Mongolian Epic Chronicle of the Thirteenth Century”, translated by Igor de Rachewiltz, Brill Publishing (2006)

“The Manhattan Project: Making the Atomic Bomb”, Francis Gosling, United States Department of Energy History Division (1994)

“Royal Blood: Richard III and the mystery of the princes”, Bert Fields, Harper Collins (1998)

“The Mystery of the Princes”, Audrey Williamson (1978)

“Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring”, Alexander Rose, Bantam Dell (2006)

“Memoir of Col. Benjamin Tallmadge”, Benjamin Tallmadge, Book on Demand (1858)

“The Tomb of Antony and Cleopatra”, Ishaan Tharoor, Time Magazine (April 23, 2009)

“KFC still guards Colonel’s secret”, Ed Reinke, Associated Press, NBC News (July 23, 2005)

“Colonel Sanders and the American Dream”, John Ozersky, University of Texas Press (2012)

“Jack the Ripper: The Definitive History, Pearson Education (2003)

“The Man Who Would Be Jack: The Hunt for the Real Ripper”, David Bullock, Thistle Publishing (2012)

“The Man He Became: How FDR Defied Polio to Win the Presidency”, James Tobin, Simon & Schuster (2013)

“The Flood from Heaven: Deciphering the Atlantis Legend”, Eberhard Zangger, William Morrow and Company (1993)

“Tutankhamun: Life and Death of a Pharaoh”, Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt, Okasha Sarwat, New York Graphic Society (1963)