In the popular imagination, King Tut has always been dead. He's famous as a mummy, so it makes sense to think of him that way, but to do so forfeits what we've been able to learn about Tutankhamun's fascinating life and death. And what we've learned is far sadder and less grandiose than you'd think for the life of a pharaoh.
Crucially, Tutankhamun was the product of inbreeding - his parents were siblings - and he suffered from attendant genetic issues. According to a high-tech modern autopsy conducted over 3,000 years after his death, King Tut had a club foot.
That finding refutes a traditional version of Tutankhamun's death, a version that involved a violent crash in a chariot race. It turns out King Tut would not have been able to participate in a chariot race at all, largely because of that foot, but also likely for a host of other physical reasons.
In addition to his club foot, Tutankhamun had a host of other ailments, including frequent seizures. These health issues likely left him susceptible to Malaria, which is believed to have killed him at age 19, a decade into the boy king's reign.