Tutankhamun – Africa’s first reported road traffic crash victim?

  • A B van As University of Limpopo
  • R Brown University of Cape Town
Keywords: Tutankhamun, cause of death, chest injury, clubfoot, femur fracture, mechanism of injury, postmortem


The most famous of all the Egyptian pharaohs was Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut, who died aged 18 in January 1343 BC. King Tut is famous because his tomb was left in almost perfect condition and contained  wonderful treasures upon its discovery. The tomb permitted discovering the world of ancient Egypt. However, the cause of King Tut’s death remains wrapped in a mystery.

We critically review the circumstantial findings in the tomb together with the various international examinations that were performed on the corpse of King Tut over the last 100 years. They include post-mortems, radiographic examination, CT-scanning, and DNA testing, and propose a hypothesis as to the cause of his death.

Author Biographies

A B van As, University of Limpopo

Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Limpopo, South Africa

R Brown, University of Cape Town

Division of Paediatric Surgery, University of Cape Town, South Africa

How to Cite
van As, A., & Brown, R. (2023). Tutankhamun – Africa’s first reported road traffic crash victim?. South African Journal of Surgery, 61(4), 7-10. Retrieved from http://sajs.redbricklibrary.co.za/index.php/sajs/article/view/4183