The death of Tutankhamun – also known as King Tut – has long been shrouded in mystery. The ancient Egyptian leader lived 17 short years and his life came to an abrupt end. Experts have tossed around a slew of theories based on the trauma he suffered in the moments leading up to his death. Now, though, they think they’ve pinpointed the real reason why his light went out so early.
King Tutankhamun came into the world as Tutankhaten, a name chosen in honor of his father Akhenaten’s belief in Atenism. The baby’s mother was also his father’s sister, and Tut’s inbred DNA left him weak in a number of ways. University of Tübingen geneticist Carsten Pusch told National Geographic magazine in 2010, “He was not a very strong pharoah. He was not riding the chariots.”