The gold mask of ancient pharaoh king Tutankhamen seen at the Egyptian museum.
Credits: REUTERS/Aladin Abdel Naby
King Tutankhamun's large breasts and wide hips may provide a clue to his untimely, mysterious death from a genetic disease that could cause feminine features, a medical expert says.
The latest theory into the ancient boy king's sudden death at 19 comes after numerous others, including murder, tuberculosis and a snake bite.
Hutan Ashrafian, a surgeon at the Imperial College in London, told the Washington Post and New Scientist that the Egyptian pharaoh may have suffered from a genetically inherited disorder as his predecessors also died young with feminine bodies.
He believes Tut and his family could have suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy as the disease can cause the brain to alter hormones responsible for sexual development and could explain the king's large breasts.
Epilepsy could also be to blame for causing hallucinations as Tut and a relative are believed to have had religious visions, Ashrafian said.
The mystery remains, however, as there's no definitive genetic test for epilepsy, experts told the Post.
Tut's mummified body and his elaborate tomb -- considered the most significant archeological discovery of the century -- was discovered in 1922.