On February 12, 1924, English Egyptologist Howard Carter and his team removed the lid on the third and last sarcophagus of the burial chamber in tomb KV62 revealing the mummy of Tutankhamun.
X-rays done in 1968
In 1968, R. G. Harrison, a professor of anatomy, used a portable x-ray machine to get a better look at the internal structures of the mummy to better determine age and cause of death of Tutankhamun. One of the most abnormal findings was the sternum (breastbone) and most parts of the frontal ribs were missing. Removing these bones was not part of the normal mummification process, which lead Harrison to believe they might have been removed because they were badly damaged before his death. Harrison quickly discovered that Carter was not as careful as many of his personal notes had claimed. The mummy was not re-wrapped after 1926, which led to more deterioration due to the extremely hot external elements over the forty-two years. Also many of the limbs had been amputated in the body in order to remove some of the jewelry. Both hands were cut off, both legs were removed from the pelvis, and the head was severed from the body in order to get the mask off. Even more remarkable is the king's right ear and penis were missing, but photographs from Carter show they were both present during his examination. Harrison believed the slight curve in the spine and small bone fragments might have been the result of the embalming process. The lesion on the left jaw showed signs of healing occurred before his death and one of his legs had been broken, but it could not be determined if it happened naturally or as a result of the embalming or Carter's examination. The fact that skull fragments were discovered led many to assume the king was murdered by a blow to the head, but the x-ray could not support or discredit this theory.