Scientists who recently conducted a high-tech examination of King Tut's mummy insist they don't believe in the "Curse of the Pharaohs." Still, some awfully strange things happened when the team X-rayed the boy king's body with a medical CT scanning machine.On the way to the Egyptian site, one researcher's vehicle nearly hit a child. Then a huge storm hit. The CT machine, usually reliable, wouldn't work at first. And when researchers finally began the CT scan, one scientist came down with such a violent coughing attack he had to leave."It was a veryinteresting moment, and a very scary moment at the same time," said Cairo University radiologist Dr.
Ashraf Selim. But Selim added: "I don't believe in the curse. I'm a scientific man."
Geographic, which helped fund the study, announced preliminary results
last year. On Monday, Selim detailed the findings for the first time at
a scientific setting -- a meeting at McCormick Place of the
Radiological Society of North America.
King Tutankhamun was about
9 years old when he was crowned around 1332 B.C. It was the golden age
of pharaohs, and Egypt was a mighty empire.
What killed boy king?
Unlike other royal tombs,
Tut's burial chamber remained undisturbed through the ages. When
British archeologist HowardCarter finally discovered it in 1922, the
tomb was filled with 5,000 breathtaking artifacts, including jewels,
statues, magical amulets, furniture and a solid gold coffin.
But an inscription on the tomb supposedly warned: "Death shall come on swift wings to him that disturbs the peace of the king."
Lord Carnarvon, who
financed Carter's expedition, died six months after the discovery.
Newspapers blamed this on the curse, along wubsequent deaths of anyone
remotely related to Tut's discovery.
Actually, Carnarvon already
was in poor health when an infected mosquito bite led to blood
poisoning and pneumonia. And researchers have shown that others
involved in the Carter expedition lived, on average, normal life-spans.
Carter himself lived another 17 years before dying at age 65.
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