Tutankhamun’s burial – Classification went wrong?

18th dynasty’s Pharaoh of Egypt Tutankhamun is the most famous among Egyptians Pharaohs, may be as equal or more to the fame of Ramses II.

King Tut Mask
King Tut Mask (Photo credit: themarina)

Becoming pharaoh at the age of nine and reigning hardly ten years (1332 BC – 1323 BC) before meeting an untimely death Tutankhamun has captured the imagination of the world since the discovery of his tomb by  Howard Carter in November 1922.

Howard Carter opens the innermost shrine of Ki...
Howard Carter opens the innermost shrine of King Tutankhamen’s tomb near Luxor, Egypt which one of carter’s water boy found the steps down to. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Son of Akhenaten and Akhenaten’s sister King Tut’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings is considered the most complete ancient Egyptian royal tomb ever found. His unexpected and untimely death prevented him being buried in a magnificent tomb as common to royals of those days.  Tutankhamun was instead buried in a small tomb after proper mummification.  In ancient Egypt mummification involved preserving the body through various process involving use of minerals, oils and evisceration.

Recent study conducted by Dr Robert Connolly, anthropologist, Liverpool University, on a bit of flesh of King Tut suggest that a botched mummification caused spontaneous combustion inside the coffin of King Tut causing it to char.


In international transport regulations ‘Substances liable to spontaneous combustion’ are classified under Class 4.2, example: Copra, Carbon, Seed Cake, Oily Cotton, Oily fabrics etc…