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June 23 2010

King Tutankhamun’s Family and Demise

JAMA. 2010;303(24):2471-2475. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.821

To the Editor: Dr Hawass and colleagues1 assessed the relationship between Tutankhamun, Akhenaten, and several other members of Egypt's 18th dynasty. However, some of their claims regarding possible inherited disorders among the 11 royal mummies they examined appear to be inconsistent. The Abstract reported that “[n]o signs of gynecomastia and craniosynostoses . . . were found,” but the text stated that “putative breasts in Tutankhamun and his father Akhenaten (KV55) cannot be determined, because KV55 is a mummified skeleton and Tutankhamun lacks the frontal part of the chest wall.”