Oh mummy! Here's what you need to know about King Tut's mummified penis
Was King Tut rising to the challenge of a religious revolution implemented by his father? Or was it just a very penis-focused case of rigor mortis? (Shuttershock)
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When thinking about boy pharoah King Tutankhamun, you may think wistfully of the pyramids in Giza, hieroglyphics depicting scenes from daily life in Ancient Egypt or his ornate gold and navy sarcophagus...but probably not his mummified erect penis.
A new study that has been prying into the privates of the pharoah has revealed that Tut's mummified member (it stands at a 90-degree angle, in case you were wondering) stands as evidence that the boy King was revolting against his father's religious conservatism, according to livescience.com reported.
The Egyptians weren't all penis-crazed however - King Tut's embalmed erection was unusual for the time. In his tomb in Egypt's Valley of Kings, the pharaoh was also buried without a heart (he had a replacement, known as a heart scarab) and his coffins were doused in black liquid, which may have resulted in him catching fire, livescience.com reported.
Although Tut enthusiasts have known about his peculiar penis for years, a new paper written in the journal Études et Travaux by Egyptologist Salima Ikram, a professor at the American University in Cairo, proposes a reason why he was buried this way.
According to Ikram, Tut's mummified boner - among other things - were not mistakes, they were deliberate attempts to make the boy pharaoh look like Osiris, the ancient Egyptian god of the underworld. Ikram believes that his erect penis was meant to "evoke Osiris' regenerative powers; the black liquid made Tutankhamun's skin color resemble that of Osiris; and the lost heart recalled the story of the god being cut to pieces by his brother Seth and his heart buried," livescience.com reported.
Dressing up the king as Osiris may have been crucial in undoing the conservative religious revolution spurred on by Akhenaten, the Egyptian pharaoh widely believed to be Tutankhamun's father, Ikram said.
That's not even where the drama over the mummified penis ends - after Tut's body was discovered, it rather unfortuntately fell off, which led to media speculation that it had been stolen, according to livescience.com.
At least the boy pharaoh has the monopoly over mummified members: "As far as I know, no other mummy has been found thus far with an erect penis," she told LiveScience in an email.
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