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Researchers: King Tut may have been killed in chariot crash

A chariot found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun is displayed at Discovery Times Square Exposition on August 3, 2010 in New York. The chariot, which most likely had been used by the boy king for hunting, is being shown in the United States for the first time and is the first time it has ever left Egypt. UPI Photo/Monika Graff..
A chariot found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun is displayed at Discovery Times Square Exposition on August 3, 2010 in New York. The chariot, which most likely had been used by the boy king for hunting, is being shown in the United States for the first time and is the first time it has ever left Egypt. UPI Photo/Monika Graff.. | License Photo

LONDON, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- British researchers say King Tutankhamun, possibly the most famous of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, died in a chariot crash.

Chris Naunton, an Egyptologist, worked with experts on modern vehicle crashes to evaluate the young king's remains, Radio Times reported. Their work was the subject of a documentary to be broadcast next Sunday on Britain's Channel 4.

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Their findings were that Tutankhamun was on his knees when he was run over by a chariot. They suggested he might have been knocked from his own chariot while leading the Egyptian army in battle.

Naunton also said Tutankhamun's body, which appeared to be burned when it was discovered in 1922, probably spontaneously combusted after being sealed in its tomb.

"Despite all the attention Tut's mummy has received over the years the full extent of its strange condition has largely been overlooked," he said. "The charring and possibility that a botched mummification led the body spontaneously combusting shortly after burial was entirely unexpected, something of a revelation in fact."

Tutankhamun, who reigned for about a decade after succeeding his father at the age of 9 and died in 1323 B.C., was little noted in Egyptian annals. But he became a celebrity in 1922, when archaeologist Howard Carter and George Herbert, the early of Carnarvon, discovered his tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

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The tomb, with its elaborate grave goods still intact, caused a sensation as well as spawning legends of a supposed curse.

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