That's the latest suggestion by Mr Hutan Ashrafian, a clinical lecturer at Imperial College London and covered in New Scientist. (My thanks to Andrea Byrnes on Facebook.) The reasons seem to be: 1) the generations died successively younger indicating an inheritable condition which became more acute over the decades; 2) Amenhotep III and Akhenaten had religious experiences; and 3) Akhenaten's feminisation could have been a result of disruption of the temporal lobes which caused hormal changes. Ashrafian believes that epilepsy killed Tutankhamun. For me that's the obvious weakness in the theory. If an inherited condition killed Tutankhamun at a younger age than his ancenstors, one would expect the other supposed symptoms to have also been more severe. So for instance, we should be looking for a greater feminisation of Tutankhamun that Akhenaten and probably for him to have been even more prone to religious experiences. There is no evidence for either.
9 months ago