(soft mysterious music) - [Mahmoud] It's been a hundred years since the discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb, the boy king who lived and died at one of the most revolutionary times in Ancient Egyptian history.
- King Tutankhamun ruled Egypt from 1332 to 1323 BC.
I'm Dr. Yasmin El Shazly I'm an Egyptologist.
- [Mahmoud] I'm Mahmoud Rashad.
I'm a filmmaker and an independent Egyptologist.
- As an Egyptian Egyptologist, it is very important for me to give Tutankhamun back his voice by exploring all the different theories around him.
- [Egyptologist] The whole Armana period is attracting people because it is the period of Akhenaten.
He said, There is no God but this God.
- [Egyptologist] It's a great revolution.
He must have been extremely courageous to do this.
- You can't change people's beliefs... - And faith overnight.
Rashad and I are on a journey to find out who the boy behind the mask was.
Who were his allies and who were his enemies?
- Was he murdered?
Did he die in an accident?
So many unanswered questions.
- I really believe Nefertiti, she could be his enemy.
- [Mahmoud] We learned about his family in the first part of our journey, now we're going to find out more about how and why he died so young.
- All theories before that Tutankhamun was murdered, it's an accident happened to him two days before he died.
- Tutankhamun had many people advising him.
We don't really know the whole court, but we all do know two names, Ay and Horemheb.
- Some people look at Ay as a villain, but I'm not sure of that.
- We are bringing back the face of Tutankhamun and making a facial reconstruction based on scientific measures.
- I really want King Tut to come to life and create the most definitive look of one of the most famous kings of all time.
(exhales) - I like to look at the eyes of the golden mask and this mask reflects for me the drama of his life.
At the same time, his yearning with this young face for eternity.
- Are you ready?
(dramatic music) Oh my God.
(dramatic music continues) Tutankhamun: Allies & Enemies was made possible in part by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you.
(waves lapping) (soft ominous music) - [Mahmoud] Have you been here before?
- This is my second time here.
This is Carter's house.
This is where he lived while he was excavating for King Tut's tomb.
Can you just imagine the conversations that were happening in this house while they were searching for him?
- [Yasmin] Howard Carter was a British Egyptologist who discovered King Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank of the Nile.
His dig was financed by Lord Carnarvon and had been going on for almost five years.
- The bit that I like the most about his story is his obsession with King Tut.
I have so much respect for him.
He loved Tutankhamun, he wanted to find him, and he showed him the respect he deserved.
In 1922, Lord Carnarvon wanted to cancel the excavations, and then Howard Carter begged him for one last season, and that's when they found the tomb.
- They found these little steps and just think about that minute when he dug that hole in the wall and Lord Carnarvon asked him, "What can you see?"
and he said- - [Both] Wonderful things.
(tense music) (engine whirring) - I'm in the city of Abydos in Southern Egypt meeting Dr. Sameh Iskander at his dig site, which is dedicated to the Ancient Egyptian god of the underworld, Osiris.
They found evidence here that within a couple of generations after Tutankhamun's death, all the gods were back, and Akhenaten's religious revolution was overturned.
(both speaking in foreign language) - I'm Sameh Iskander, Egyptologist, affiliate research associate at New York University, currently working on the temple of Ramses II in Abydos.
Abydos is the domain of the God Osiris.
- Probably the most popular god in Ancient Egypt.
The god of the afterlife.
'Cause Abydos was very important site in Ancient Egypt and still is a very important site in Egypt now.
It was a site of pilgrimage.
Every Ancient Egyptian person dreamed that he would be able to come to the site and pay his or her respect to Osiris.
100 years after the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, people believe this is a chance for Tutankhamun to give his story, but does it?
His tomb or his money or the objects in his tomb are giving us what he really thought, what he really wanted to say, or is it us that actually imposing it on him?
Here, I wanna show you here a very, very important scene right here on this wall that gives an idea of, you know, the energy in the temple and what was happening.
- [Yasmin] It does.
It looks impressive so far.
- It is an impressive and it's a sort of a unique scene in Abydos.
Here is the symbol of Osiris being carried by 24 priests after a procession outside for a certain feast, and supposedly the head of Osiris is buried there.
- [Yasmin] Which is why Abydos is so sacred because they believe the head of Osiris is buried there.
- Is buried here.
So we are here in the sort of the sacred part of the temple.
But there's a lot was happening outside.
Let's go and see.
I'll show you.
(somber music) - [Sameh] This is where the action takes place, the activities of the temple of the cult.
- Oh my God.
This is unbelievable.
- [Sameh] We found over 2,000 mummies of rams.
- [Yasmin] Wow, that's incredible.
- [Sameh] We keep finding new ones.
- [Yasmin] The rams were part of ritual animal sacrifice to the Ancient Egyptian gods.
Under Tutankhamun's father, this would not have been allowed.
This is more proof the old religion was back in full force.
- The idea of Akhenaten is long gone, it's not there anymore.
As a matter of fact, there's another temple of Ramses in here about maybe a kilometer or less, and there are several fragments from Amarna, that they're found as part of the foundation, as fillers.
And this helps your research.
- Just in a graphic way.
- This piece was divine and now it's just, it's the foundation.
- The filler.
- And useless.
- [Sameh] And this summarizes the restoration of the religion from Aten to Amun that King Tut started.
But you know, there's more.
Let's go to the temple city and I'll show you the situation of the religion.
(gentle music) - What Tutankhamun did was return to the old status quo, which means that all the temples throughout Egypt, Amun and otherwise, were all functioning.
All of this really brought back a sense of unity and ease for the Egyptians because it was very weird for them probably after 2,000 years to have their whole world view changed.
- Before going to the temple of Seti I, Dr. Sameh invited me for breakfast with his Egyptian coworkers.
(Yasmin speaking in foreign language) (researcher speaking in foreign language) (Sameh speaking in foreign language) (group laughs) (Yasmin speaking in foreign language) (foreman speaking in foreign language) (group laughs) (Yasmin speaking in foreign language) (foreman speaking in foreign language) (group chuckles) - [Yasmin] It's such a beautiful temple.
- [Sameh] Oh it's incredible temple.
It's very special.
- [Yasmin] Yes.
- I find it one of the most beautiful temples in Egypt.
This temple was built about 40 years after King Tut.
This temple is a culmination of King Tut's attempt to restore the religion.
(gentle music) (Yasmin speaking in foreign language) (Sameh speaking in foreign language) - Dr. Sameh, you said that this is the culmination of Tutankhamun's restoration?
- Yes, when you think about it, when King Tut and his entourage started the process of restoration, it took a while.
- But was it his decision really?
How involved was he in the process?
- Obviously he was not involved because he was a kid.
- He was young.
- [Sameh] So, I would say this was a movement by the priesthood.
(singer vocalizing) - In Ancient Egypt, religion has always been political.
When the king is a god, then it is always going to have a complete mixture of sacred and secular.
And this had been going on in Egypt since the dawn of time.
So, what you do with it, how you manipulate it, changes varying on who the king is, what role the temples are playing, and what the general milieux is at that moment.
- You know, Seti built this temple for six gods.
You see Ibis, Osiris, Anubis, that over there.
Tut would have loved to see this.
- Yes, all the gods are all there.
- All the gods.
All the gods are bad.
This is what he wanted.
Only 30, 40 years after his time.
(mysterious music) - Seti I began a new dynasty, the Nineteenth, and would usher in a new era after the disorder of Akhenaten and the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty.
(mysterious music continues) I just arrived to Abydos to the temple of King Seti I to meet up with Dr. Yasmin.
In here, we have the first clue to the second half of King Tut's story.
Throughout our journey, Yasmin and I have built a very intimate relationship with Tutankhamun.
Sometimes we feel sympathetic of a boy in the middle of a power struggle, and sometimes we're suspicious of people around him and how his life was cut so short.
So, the whole temple really is one of my favorites in Egypt, but this room holds a very special place in my heart.
This is the whole of the ancestors in Seti I's temple.
And here we see Seti I with his son, Ramses II, and they're reciting all of the names of Egypt's previous kings.
- [Yasmin] Yes, they're trying to associate themselves with them as their descendants.
- I can just imagine both of them here burning incense.
Ramses has the papyrus in his hand reading the, reciting the invocation in it, and then they recite each and every name of each and every king.
Where is Tut?
- [Yasmin] Where is Tut and where is Akhenaten?
- And where's Nefertiti?
- And where's Ay?
- All the heroes of our story are not here.
- They want to pretend they never existed, they were never here, they never ruled Egypt.
They are not one of them.
- Yeah, they were removed from history.
It is unfortunate that Tutankhamun's name does not appear in this king list, and the fact that Ay's name, too, isn't there makes us wonder if Horemheb was responsible for these omissions.
This would make him the villain of the story, even though so far Ay seems to be the apparent conniving character.
All these points make me want to explore how Tutankhamun died and what happens next in this story.
(traffic whirring) (horns honking) (Yasmin speaking in foreign language) Driving in Cairo is an adventure.
You have to have very good reflexes.
Anything can happen anytime.
- I am going to meet Dr. Salima Ikram who will talk to me about Tutankhamun's death and mummification.
(gentle music) - [Salima] So, Yasmin, I was going to make some coffee.
Would you like some?
- Yes, please.
- My name is Salima Ikram and I am an Egyptologist at the American University in Cairo where I am a distinguished university professor.
- [Yasmin] I've been moving around.
I'm talking to different people- - Yes.
- About the different theories regarding Tutankhamun, and there seems to have been a lot going on in the background.
- Oh yeah.
- At his death.
- [Yasmin] What do you think?
- I wish I knew.
Very hard to tell.
(chuckles) But no, I mean there must have been such chaos in a way.
They didn't expect him to die, one imagines, unless he was killed, and then poof.
- [Yasmin] Everything's gone.
- Everything's gone and then we have Ay and Horemheb.
- [Yasmin] Yes, because Horemheb was supposed to be his successor.
- I suppose maybe it was a gentleman's agreement.
"Let's put Ay there for a little bit.
He's going to die anyway."
Ay was a relative of Tutankhamun, much older, sort of grandfather, great grandfather kind of thing, while Horemheb was a military commander.
Probably they expected him to have a successor, but he didn't.
That's when it got interesting and then you wind up with Ay and Horemheb maybe jockeying for position.
- What's your theory about Tutankhamun's reign?
- Well, I mean, I think that there's so little evidence that we can make up whatever we want about that poor boy's reign.
Then people always talk about how he was a sickly creature.
But I don't think so.
- [Yasmin] You don't think so?
- No, I don't.
- Okay, why?
- So he has all those sticks in his tomb and everyone says, "Oh my God, he couldn't walk."
But generally you have sticks in your tomb no matter who you are because it's a mark of office.
Now, having studied the sticks, you look at the base to see if there's any wear, and it's minimal.
Plus, he also had, in addition to all the gold stuff, he had a suit of armor that was made out of leather, which was a real suit of armor.
- [Yasmin] So he probably went to battle.
- He probably went to battle because he has all the weapons.
Why would he have all that armor in his tomb?
It doesn't make sense, you would just have this state- - Maybe he wanted to be resurrected as a warrior.
- [Salima] Well I think he wanted- - He wanted to go to battle in the afterlife.
- Well, I mean a king had to go to battle in the afterlife.
- [Yasmin] Yes, of course.
- That is what they did.
- [Yasmin] Yes, please.
- [Salima] Okay.
You may have no sugar.
I find it's very espresso.
Darling, that way.
Come on in and let's settle down here.
- About his health, what do you think of the results of, you know, the CT scans that have been done?
- People tend to think, oh it's science, it must be true.
Whereas scientists also differ and disagree and argue.
But I mean right now, there are ideas that the leg was broken and that caused septicemia, which might have been one of the reasons for Tutankhamun's death.
- [Yasmin] What about the clubfoot that people talk about?
- I myself am not a firm believer in the clubfoot.
I have looked at his feet.
So, I think it could also be a result of the way he was mummified.
People often over or underestimate things because I have very bad knees and legs and I've had, you know, five different operations and I'm still not properly functional.
But I still climb up mountains, go down tomb shafts, wiggle into holes, and carry out my work as an Egyptologist, where probably if you looked at my body you'd think, ooh, this person can't do anything because so many bits have been replaced or are broken or are pinned together tenuously.
So I think saying that Tutankhamun couldn't do a lot of things is probably wrong.
- [Yasmin] You don't see him as a tragic figure or do you?
Having your father be seen as a heretic king and be erased from history and- - [Salima] Well, I mean, on one hand- - [Yasmin] I know this is not very Egyptological.
We're trying to empathize with Tutankhamun.
- But no, no, I think it is totally Egyptological.
Why study the Ancient Egyptians if you don't think of them as people?
Because why on earth would I do Egyptology if I did not love and feel passionately about the Ancient Egyptians?
- [Yasmin] All kings started preparing for their death as soon as they ascended the throne.
Tutankhamun would not have been any different.
How do you think he prepared for his death and the afterlife?
- I think that Tutankhamun did this in a very literal way.
Tell me about it.
- [Yasmin] Because his mummy is very Osirian because it's completely covered with this black material.
And that's not how other kings were mummified.
His mummification was different.
- His mummification was very odd.
That's the most peculiar thing about him, I think.
- [Yasmin] It was so helpful to talk with Dr. Salima Ikram about the mysteries surrounding Tutankhamun's unusual mummification, and that Tut's mummy may hold clues to the battle for succession after his untimely death.
- [Salima] Let me take the mug, sweetie.
- Thank you.
- [Salima] Bye, thanks so much for coming.
- [Yasmin] My pleasure.
(gentle music) (traffic whirring) (both speaking in foreign language) - We are here at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.
It opened in April 2021 to host the royal mummies of the new kingdom, the family of Tutankhamun among them.
My name is Sahar Saleem.
I'm Professor of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine Cairo University.
Let's go and have some coffee because I have some more CT scan images to show.
- And I still have so many questions.
- Okay, let's go.
- So let's go.
- [Sahar] I spent a lot of time with Tutankhamun.
I took thousands of CT scan.
This made Tutankhamun like a family to me.
- [Mahmoud] Dr. Sahar, I think now we need to start discussing why did Tut die and how did he die?
- Tutankhamun, there were a lot of theories, though, about the cause of death.
And in this theory I will show you, there is a small bone fragment.
That is attached to the- - To the resin.
- The resin.
And this resin that appeared as if it is a blood or dense material in the skull, the theory that Tutankhamun was murdered- - [Mahmoud] Murdered.
- By a blow at the back of his head.
This theory was actually totally refuted.
There is no evidence of trauma to his skull.
All these are related to either the mummification, which is not blood, or- - [Mahmoud] The excavation.
- The, yes.
But when we want to know, okay, if this is not the cause, what was the cause?
We found the one, the injury at the knee- - The kneecap.
- You see here, this fracture, slipped inside it a dense material, which is the embalming material.
- [Mahmoud] Which means that the fracture was there before mummification 'cause there are no healing signs.
- No healing signs.
- So this must have been inflicted just prior to death before the body was able to heal.
This type of fracture could happen from falling down, from example, from the chariots.
We know that Tutankhamun liked racing as as any teenager.
So this bone- - [Mahmoud] But it must have been something very intense happened for the knee to be fractured like that.
- Falling down from a high impact from racing and from the velocity of the chariot.
But the point is this is not the cause of death.
This fracture may have been complicated, for example, by infection.
- The DNA showed that a form of malaria was found inside the body of Tutankhamun that means that he was infected with malaria.
His cause of death, although it's not very much clear, it could be a combination of different circumstances, health issues that Tutankhamun had suffered from.
- Dr. Sahar, I know that you have a flight to catch to Canada to meet up with the artists working on Tut's bust.
- Yeah, we are all working on the facial reconstruction of King Tutankhamun.
- [Mahmoud] I really can't wait to see what you guys come up with.
- Until then, I have to go catch up with Dr. Yasmin in Luxor, but thank you for everything.
I have all the answers that I needed.
- Thank you.
(gentle music) - I have team with Dr. Andrew Nelson, a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Western Ontario, as well as Christian Corbet, a forensic artist.
- Ready to go.
Until next time, King Tut.
- We are teaming up together in order to bring back Tutankhamun from the dead.
- We'll see you with Christian.
(gentle music continues) - I received an email from Dr. Andrew Nelson and he had this incredible message that, "Are you interested in doing a new project?"
and it's a major important individual.
And so, I was interested, and then the reply email was, "It's King Tut," and I was onboard.
I'm Christian Corbet.
I'm a sculptor.
For anybody to think of King Tut having come here thousands of years later in his own magical way, is to me just an affirmation that miracles do happen.
Finally we meet, King Tut.
So, I've been creating creative works of art for over 26 years.
This one is a fine example of His Royal Highness, the late Prince Philip, but for now, my heart and eyes are fully set on creating a forensic facial reconstruction of King Tut, where it'll go forensic first, then it'll go creative.
(gentle music) And I'm gonna show you a few things with respect to what I do in order to create the forensic facial reconstruction.
First step's going to be landing tissue markers.
There are tissue marker charts that you use in order to find out the measurements and where they're supposed to go, and then we slowly build up muscle by muscle.
(tool clicking) (gentle music) (Christian exhales) The point of the camera is to take as many pictures as possible of all the stages.
So the next stage is finding the spots where we are going to be placing tissue markers.
(image clicking) Well, here we are a couple weeks into the forensic facial reconstruction of King Tutankhamun.
This is the very early stage.
A lotta people think of King Tut as the sort of the golden mask image.
And it's almost idealized with the bright colors and the perfect features.
But here, we have something completely different.
In the creating part of it is that, how do I depict Tut after the forensic stage?
Do I make him smile?
Do I make him frown?
Do I make him look worried, concerned?
I really want King Tut to come to life in a completely new and exciting way, and who knows, perhaps create maybe the most definitive look of one of the most famous kings of all time.
(camera clicks) (tense music) - There are many question marks around Tutankhamun's tomb.
Many scholars believe that it was not designed for him, that originally it was the tomb of Ay in the Western Valley that was intended for Tutankhamun, and that the tomb of Tutankhamun was originally intended for Ay.
Whether or not Tutankhamun's tomb was built for him or for Ay is important to scholars for several reasons.
It's much smaller than most pharaohs' tombs, leading some to believe it must have been for a lesser official or even a queen.
Some believe Ay made a power grab after Tut's untimely death by taking a much larger tomb in the Valley of the Monkeys for himself.
Some believe he wanted to associate himself with Tut's grandfather, Amenhotep III, to take credit for the restoration of the religion.
I'm meeting Dr. Mostafa Waziri in Tutankhamun's tomb to ask him about his theory on whether or not this, too, was meant for Tut.
We're in Tutankhamun's tomb, and I find this scene fascinating.
We see Ay performing the Opening of the Mouth on Tutankhamun.
Have you ever seen a scene like this before or is it unique?
- He died in unexpected way.
So, who took over?
At that time, he was a high priest and then he became the king.
So now, he started this ritual Opening of the Mouth.
- But that was to legitimize his own rule.
(ominous music) The Opening of the Mouth ceremony is a ritual in order to help the deceased breathe again and see again and be alive again in the afterlife.
- The fact that Ay pictured himself in the tomb performing the duties of the Sem priest, who was supposed to do the Opening of the Mouth ceremony for the king, he did it himself to make sure that he will inherit the throne.
Ay had ambition and he was willing to step over anyone and anything to get more power.
- Some people they think that he was behind the death of Tutankhamun to take over and to be the king of Egypt.
He could have done it after one year, but no way.
- It seems like it was very hastily decorated.
So do you think that Ay wanted to bury Tut quickly so that he can claim the throne?
- The tomb was unfinished.
So there is no hieroglyphic inscriptions here.
It's only drawings.
- [Yasmin] Which is much faster.
- [Mostafa] Which is much faster.
- [Yasmin] But why were they in a hurry?
The king died and they needed to bury him.
But why did they need to bury him in a hurry?
- Most of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, most of them are unfinished.
- Yes, very true.
- So once the king die, and then they have to shut the tomb and that's it.
- You think this tomb was made for Tutankhamun?
- This tomb is the tomb of Tutankhamun from the beginning.
- [Yasmin] I personally don't think so.
- Most of the people, they think that this, it was the tomb of Ay, and then after the death of the Tutankhamun, Ay decided to give it to him.
(somber music) - After getting Dr. Waziri's thoughts on King Tut's tomb, Yasmin and I are meeting with Dr. Aidan Dodson to get his opinion on whether or not Ay usurped Tutankhamun's tomb to help us understand the battle for succession.
- Dr. Dodson, the tomb of Tutankhamun, do you think it was made for him?
Because many scholars believe that the tomb of Ay was intended for Tutankhamun.
- That's an idea I generally support.
Certainly the tomb, which Tutankhamun was buried in, was not intended for a king originally.
It had been taken over for that, but we think that there was one begun at Amarna for him.
Of course, that was abandoned when the whole Amarna experiment was was terminated.
And the tomb which Ay was buried in in the West Valley, it certainly fits for what one would expect Tutankhamun's original tomb to be.
And that the simplest solution could be simply that Ay and Tutankhamun did a swap of tombs, that the tomb which Tutankhamun was actually buried in, was intended for Ay, and Ay decided he wanted to have the royal tomb in West Valley, and they simply swapped over.
And certainly the tomb which Tutankhamun was buried in, is very much of the sort you'd expect to find for a high status individual of that time.
There are other options, and one possibility could be that it was the place where the mummy of (indistinct) and Nefertiti was originally put, and then she was simply removed from the tomb when it was decided this was needed for Tutankhamun.
So, it clearly was somebody else's.
We could debate until the cows come home whose it was, but then this burial chamber was added and decorated purely for Tutankhamun as far as I'm concerned.
- Thank you, Dr. Dodson.
You and I have a lot of notes to compare and conclusions to come up with.
- [Yasmin] Definitely.
I'm looking forward this.
- [Mahmoud] Thank you, Dr. Dodson.
- [Yasmin] Thank you very much.
(gentle music) At this stage of our journey with Tut, the mystery remains about whether or not the tomb he was buried in was meant for him.
Now Rashad and I are heading to Ay's Tomb to meet with Dr. Tarek Tawfik to get his theory on the matter.
(both speaking in foreign language) - After the death of Tutankhamun, the picture becomes a bit blurry.
Did he marry the widow of Tutankhamun rather quickly to become the next pharaoh?
It's not entirely asserted.
- I've never been to this tomb.
I studied it so much (speaking in foreign language).
- And I'm actually very embarrassed (speaking in foreign language).
(both speaking in foreign language) (Tarek speaking in foreign language) (Mahmoud speaking in foreign language) (Tarek speaking in foreign language) - [Mahmoud] It looks unfinished.
- It's very interesting because the color scheme is very similar to that of the tomb of Tut, but the quality of the decoration isn't as good.
- The first moment, it strike us as very similar to Tutankhamun's tomb, but still there are a lot of differences.
It's mainly the baboons.
- The baboons are similar, of course.
- [Mahmoud] I think that the baboons is what gives it away.
But other scenes on the other walls are quite different than Tutankhamun.
- [Yasmin] There are many scholars who believe this tomb was intended for Tutankhamun, and that Tutankhamun's tomb was intended for Ay.
What do you think?
- I would ask myself, why should Tutankhamun be buried here in the West Valley?
He is buried in the Valley of the Kings where he belong.
- But maybe because he wanted to associate himself with Amenhotep III.
- His grandfather.
- Possible, but when we look at the plan of the tomb of Tutankhamun, we will notice that this tomb was actually, in my opinion, really designed for him, because this is the only tomb in the Valley of the Kings where we have a chamber to the east of the burial chamber.
And in this tomb, in the tomb of Tutankhamun, the objects that are related to the funeral procession from east towards west.
- From east to west.
- I love this interpretation.
I love it.
- And this means that he, Tutankhamun, here is emphasizing the return to the old afterlife belief, which is associated to the west, not with the east like it was at the time of- (both speaking at once) (gentle music) The tomb in the West Valley, the Valley of the Monkeys was made, planned, decorated, all for Ay himself, not for anybody else.
- This is amazing, but let's go have lunch.
- I know the perfect local place.
- I think that's a very good idea.
- I'm shaking.
(Yasmin chattering) (gentle music continues) (Mahmoud speaking in foreign language) (both speaking in foreign language) (Yasmin speaking in foreign language) (Mahmoud speaking in foreign language) (both speaking in foreign language) - So now it's really time for food.
- We heard a lot of theories and read a lot of theories about how Tut must have died, how do you think he died?
- There could have been many reasons for his death.
- Demise, yeah.
- I do not think that there is evidence enough to support that he was murdered.
But weak health condition could have led to his rather early death.
- [Yasmin] So let's just play devil's advocate and assume that he was murdered.
Who would've done it if he was murdered?
- Okay, just for the sake of argument.
At this age as a teenager, Tutankhamun would've started to have his own opinions and his own mind.
Tutankhamun, at the age of 15, 16, now he would have his own mind.
- [Yasmin] So he was realizing that, you know, "I'm king, so why am I not-" - [Tarek] He's king.
- Making my own decision.
- "Why do I need to listen to these guys?"
- Exactly, and we don't know exactly where his mind was going.
He was not anymore totally in line- - With Ay and Horemheb.
- With Ay and Horemheb.
This could have been a motive to start thinking of getting rid of him, but this is totally speculative.
- What about the chariot accident?
- The gash in his knee.
- Of course the idea of him having an accident with a chariot- - Is attractive.
- Is very attractive and dramatic, but we have really no proof.
He could have fallen going down the stairs.
- I'm not a scholar like you guys, so I tend to run wild with my imagination.
I tend to think that, okay, King Tut did have difficulty walking, and I think this is a fact.
I can really imagine that he liked nothing more but to be strapped onto a chariot and to go for a run with it every now and then, especially that most of his chariots show signs of wear and tear.
They were used.
Now I'm adding to that your theory, which I really like, about him being a rebellious teenager that they wanted to get rid of.
Maybe instead of preventing him from going on these chariot rides that are dangerous, they encouraged it.
It could be, it could be.
- [Yasmin] So it was a convenient death.
- You are now really... - I'm going into, I'm writing a script.
(Mahmoud laughs) - I'm writing a script.
- We don't have the evidence to support any of this.
- Yeah, of course.
- But the circumstances would allow something like this.
- There's no evidence for or against, so anything's possible.
- The thing with Tut's story especially is that everything is possible.
There are countless possibilities to what could have happened, with equal chance.
After listening to the different opinions on the debate whether Tut's tomb was meant for him or for Ay, I believe Ay gave Tutankhamun the smaller tomb and claimed the bigger tomb for himself when he took the throne to cement his kingship.
And now we turn to how he died.
Was it from natural causes or was he murdered?
Were Ay and Horemheb Tut's allies or enemies, and did they play a role in his death?
(mysterious music) I'm here at the Giza Plateau to meet Dr. Zahi Hawass.
He has something very interesting to show me.
It's the hunting lodge that belonged to King Tutankhamun, which contradicts his incapability to walk, to hunt, to ride a chariot.
So, I'm really curious to see what he has to say about this today, and also who is the villain of our story.
- Zahi Hawass, Egyptologist.
- Dr. Zahi, I came back just to check out the lodge of Tutankhamun that is here.
- He loved hunting.
It's because of that desert.
This is a valley of gazelles.
It was full of animals.
- Dr. Zahi, then how do you explain the hunting scenes of Tutankhamun while he's sitting down?
- Actually, that hunting scene for him sitting down, it proves that he did hunt.
- But in his tomb, found 130 sticks.
And this to show that even he had some physical problems, but still he can walk in a stick shooting wild animals seated, and beside him, the queen.
We know that everything in Ancient Egypt had to have advisors to ask for decisions.
And therefore, I think that Horemheb and Ay had nothing to do with the death of Tutankhamun at all.
In Ancient Egypt, the pharaoh is a pharaoh.
No one really can disobey a pharaoh.
All of them have to bow in front of the king.
- All the theories before that was published by many people that Tutankhamun was murdered, it is not true.
Tutankhamun died on an accident, and this can be proved by the fracture that he had in his left leg, but he suffered from malaria.
And that was the thing that really made him to die because of the accident.
- [Mahmoud] You're saying that he died in a combination of an accident and malaria together.
- [Zahi] The malaria was the major thing.
In that time, the malaria became the disease that everyone suffered, not only Tutankhamun but others.
- Dr. Zahi, a lot of researchers and scholars tend to believe that Ay is the villain of our story.
Do you agree with them?
- First of all, I never read a story from any scholar who said that.
- Maybe some people say that, but there is no evidence at all.
On the contrary, there is evidence to prove the opposite.
Ay tried his best to prove that he's the legal one to be the king of Egypt.
And for him to restore that, he has to show his loyalty to Tutankhamun.
- My impression so far of Tut on this journey is that it was a bit of a tragedy.
Do you agree?
- Not at all.
Was not a tragedy at all.
And he died because he suffered from malaria.
We had many kings who suffered from many other things.
Then it doesn't mean that he died because of malaria and an accident that he could be a tragedy.
Not at all.
- Thank you, Dr. Zahi.
- Thank you.
- Thank you for your time.
(gentle music) Dr. Zahi had very interesting insights on Tut's story.
He doesn't think Ay was the villain, and I think this is where the beauty of Tut lies.
Everyone interprets him the way he imagines him to be.
(gentle music continues) (traffic whirring) Did you know that this movie theater is actually modeled after Radio City in New York?
- I had no idea.
- It is, it is.
- [Yasmin] It's a very famous movie theater, but I never knew this about it.
- [Mahmoud] What are you doing?
- I'm going through all the notes I took regarding Tutankhamun, and it's so interesting, you know, all these different theories about how he died.
Did he die of malaria?
Did he die from a chariot accident?
- From the amazing Egyptologists we sat with, Dr. Zahi, I think, believes it was a chariot accident, and so does Dr. Waziri.
- I don't think it was a murder.
- This is too farfetched.
They would never have killed a king.
- [Yasmin] How do you think he died?
- [Mahmoud] I think it was a combination of malaria complications and the knee injury.
But in a way, because people who don't understand our fascination with this, I don't think it's a fascination with death.
It's a fascination with life.
- [Yasmin] Just like the Ancient Egyptians.
We think they were obsessed with death, they were actually obsessed with life and they wanted their afterlife to be just like this one.
- Exactly, but also concerning Tut's death, I find it super interesting because it will tell us so much about the people that were around him.
So it will tell us a lot about Ay, about how Horemheb, who are the allies and who are the enemies.
- [Yasmin] Yes, very true.
- Who do you think were the enemies?
- Well, I don't know.
I don't even know if Ay and Horemheb were really enemies.
- Oh, come on.
- They're not.
No, we don't know.
- Come on, Ay is the perfect villain of the story.
All the evidence we have so far.
Evidence we have- - What's the evidence?
- He marrying Ankhesenamun, the tomb.
- That doesn't say anything about how- - The tomb, him performing the Opening of the Mouth ceremony inside the tomb.
He was the bad guy.
- [Yasmin] Not necessarily.
- Burying him so quickly.
- It doesn't mean he was an enemy.
- Jumping on opportunities like that is definitely not a trade of a well-intent man.
- [Yasmin] Maybe he felt that was what was best for Egypt.
- No, that was what was best for him.
- He wanted to guarantee a smooth succession and he wanted to be king.
That doesn't mean he was Tutankhamun's enemy.
I'm always waiting for the new evidence to come out.
- Well, yes, yes, the more the merrier.
But for now, he is definitely the bad guy.
- Well, not definitely.
I don't like the word definitely.
- For me.
(both chuckle) We will continue to guess forever.
We will never know for sure, and that's the beauty of Egyptology.
(gentle music) (tense music) - [Christian] Hello!
- [Andrew] Christian, Sahar.
- Sahar, finally nice to meet you in person.
Good to see you again, Andrew.
- Nice to see you, my friend.
- Come on in.
All the way to New Brunswick, I appreciate you coming.
- It's great to be here, Christian.
Nice to you.
- Thank you.
- Sahar, Andrew, this is, I'll show you now.
This first one is the forensic version that I created of King Tutankhamun.
And this is what I found.
- [Sahar] Whoa.
- So this is the culmination of several weeks worth of work.
Many, many, many hours.
- So really, at this stage, the whole shape of the face is governed by that skull.
- That we made the 3D print from the CT scans, and then the tissue thickness markers that we had so much discussion about which was the most appropriate ones to use, and people have used German ones and have used American ones, and we opted to go with the Egyptian ones.
They were a little hard to figure out how to place.
But I think that has really helped to shape a face.
So as an Egyptian, what does it mean to you to see this ancient pharaoh come to life?
- Tutankhamun to me is not like any other mummy or pharaoh.
Tutankhamun represents my childhood.
This was important for me to relate him as a boy.
I was a child and he was a child.
Now, bringing Tutankhamun back to life and to have this honor and this privilege to be part of this project, working on Tutankhamun, my hero of childhood, and to celebrate with him his 100 year.
So, happy anniversary, Tut.
(gentle music) - So Dr. Sahar Saleem finally sent us the bust to take a look at.
They've been working on it for months, and the hard work really shows on it.
It was very emotional when I first saw him, and I can't wait to bring in Yasmin to see him with me.
Have you been here before?
- [Yasmin] Never.
- This is downtown Cairo, and this company renovating a lot of the abandoned spaces turning them into art spaces, galleries.
It really is a bigger project to revive downtown Cairo in general.
This is finally it.
Are you ready to see him?
- [Yasmin] I am.
I think so.
- Are you nervous?
- Well, not nervous.
- Okay, good.
Are you ready?
(bright music) Oh my God.
- I know.
- He's brilliant, huh?
It looks like a real person.
- It does.
- One thing I really like about this reconstruction is that it reminded me of the mummy.
I can see similar features between him and the mummy.
The brow bone, that area really does look like the mummy.
- The bone structure is very similar to the mummy.
- The bone structure is very good, very well done.
The lips, I'm so happy they didn't give him thin lips.
- [Yasmin] I love the piercings.
- [Mahmoud] And he looks very Egyptian.
- [Yasmin] He does.
- [Mahmoud] He looks like modern Egyptians.
- He really does.
Like I know people who look like him.
- Yes, yes.
The forensic artist that worked on this, he didn't see any of the other reconstructions that were made for Tut, so this is a very fresh perspective on what he would have looked like.
And the crown is fantastic.
- It is, it's beautiful.
- It is.
- Beautiful crown.
- It is.
And do you know what else is brilliant?
It's reminding me of some of the later busts of Akhenaten.
So he does look like his father after all.
The monochrome is still leaving so much to our imagination in terms of his skin color, his eye color.
- [Yasmin] And I like that.
- [Mahmoud] I like that, too.
We should always leave a bit for our imagination when it comes to King Tut.
- [Yasmin] I love how they use scientific data to come up with this reconstruction.
It's not just, you know, a work of art.
- [Mahmoud] No, it science and art, and they come up with something like this.
(gentle music) So, question.
If you were to imagine what Tut looked like, is this similar to what you would have been thinking of or no?
- [Yasmin] It's more similar than the other reconstructions.
- Reconstructions, right?
- [Yasmin] What about you?
- [Mahmoud] Maybe not how I imagined him to look like, but I think this is more accurate than what I had in mind.
- I feel excited.
I feel like, you know, we finally have a face to associate with all the stories we've been telling.
(dramatic music) On the mystery surrounding the life and death of Egypt's most famous king, Tutankhamun, we looked at who he might have been as a human being, the man behind the mask.
I now empathize with him.
I empathize with the person who lost most of his family at a young age.
I empathize with someone who had to denounce his own father as a heretic.
As an Egyptologist, and more importantly as an Egyptian, I will never look at Tutankhamun the same way again.
- One thing I hope we learned from this journey with King Tut is to never judge a book by its cover.
King Tut on face value looks like this privileged, well-off, pampered king.
But in reality, it was such a tragic story.
And through our journey, I really wanted to emphasize on the human side of King Tut and the tragedy of his life.
For the coming generations, I know that we haven't answered most of the questions, but we've given them enough to think about.
We've given them enough to keep looking, keep searching, keep asking questions about King Tut and about Ancient Egypt.
(gentle music) To order Tutankhamun: Allies & Enemies on DVD, Visit ShopPBS or call 1-800-PLAY-PBS This program is also available on Amazon Prime Video ♪