Mr. Farouk Hosni, Minister of Culture, made a major announcement today that one of King Tutankhamun’s chariots would travel to New York City. This is the first time that a chariot from the tomb of Tutankhamun will be allowed out of Egypt. The High Council of Culture decided to sent the chariot to be part of the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibit at the Discovery Times Square Exposition. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said that the chariot will arrive in New York City on Wednesday and will be accompanied by a conservator and the Director of the Luxor Musuem, where the chariot is currently displayed.
Hawass stated, “This is the first time that the chariot will travel outside Egypt. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the people of New York to see something of such great significance from the boy king’s life.” This particular chariot is very unique and stands out among the other five chariots found among Tutankamun’s burial equipment. Howard Carter found the chariot in the south-east corner of the Antechamber along with three other chariots. It is completely lacking in decoration and has a very light, open sided construction. The tires are also extremely worn, suggesting that this chariot was used frequently in hunting expeditions by the young king. Carter described the chariot as, “of more open, lighter construction probably for hunting or exercising purposes.”
Recently the medical report detailing the testing done on Tutankhamun and members of his family was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The article, “Ancestry and Pathology in King Tutankhamun’s Family” describes how Dr. Hawass and his team uncovered the long-debated members of Tutankahmun’s family, as well as his cause of death. A research team from Hamburg’s Bernhard Noct Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNI) however have disputed the claims that King Tut died of malaria, and instead believe that sickle-cell disease is to blame for his death. While some of the symptoms between malaria and sickle-cell disease are similar, Dr. Hawass and his team, stand behind their findings and reaffirm that Tutankhamun died of complications from malaria and Kohler’s disease, an ailment that effects blood supply to the bones.
During recent CT scans and DNA tests, Hawass and his medical team discovered that King Tutankhamun had an accident a few hours before he died, which caused a fracture in the king’s left leg. This makes the inclusion of Tutankhamun’s chariot to the New York exhibit even more interesting as the young king may have fallen from this very chariot. Hawass added, “As we discover more about Tutankhamun’s death, we may find that this very chariot is an important piece of the puzzle that we’ve been working for decades to solve.”