Under the bandages King Tut is all man

AN ANCIENT riddle of the sands has been solved by modern hospital technology. The mummified remains of King Tutankhamun have been found to be, let us say, intact.

When a team from Liverpool University X-rayed the body in 1968, about 3,300 years after the 19-year-old king’s death, they could find no sign of his penis. There was speculation that it had been stolen and sold to a private collector. There are people who do collect such things. But Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, discovered the missing member using a hospital CT scanner during a recent study of the remains.

What was feared lost was where it should have been. “It has always been there,” Professor Hawass told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation this week. “I found it during the scan when the mummy was lifted; it lay loose in the sand around the king’s body.”

All matters appeared intact when King Tut was first removed from his tomb by the Times-sponsored archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922, and photographed by Harry Burton, the official cameraman. Dr Eduard Egarter Vigl, a mummy expert and a member of the recent scanning team, explained yesterday: “The pharaoh’s sex organ is clearly visible in Burton’s pictures; all was normal in King Tut. The penis is a highly vascularised organ and shrinks when it is mummified.

Actually, King Tut has been flattered by the embalmers’ work.”

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