|A sculpture of Akhenaten at the Neues Museum in Berlin.|
Image courtesy of Miguel Hermoso Cuesta via
In his article, "A 3300-year-old medical mystery: What disease was Akhen-aton Suffering From?", Dr. Sameh M. Arab, a professor of cardiology at Alexandria University in Egypt, attempts to deduce the cause of the strangely shaped features of the 18th dynasty pharaoh as depicted in art that has been recovered from the Amarna site while taking into account the forensic evidence presented by the KV55 mummy. What follows is an abstract of his key points:
"...[Akhenaten's] odd features could not be simply attributed to his foreign descent (Asian blood) from his maternal side. His undue tall stature and feminine-like appearance has raised suspicion that he was suffering from a certain medical syndrome."
such claim was rejected. He was known to have 6 daughters (and possibly at least one son, his successor, Smenkh-Ka-Ra, from a secondary wife Kiya)."
mummy (if it were truly his) were those of tall stature, unduly long limbs, elongated skull, long slender neck and long face with a huge mandible (lower jaw)."
|A colossal statue of|
from Karnak. Image
courtesy of Wikimedia.
wide pelvis with fat hips (the breadth of the pelvis exceeds that of the shoulders – a characteristic feature of females). A nude statue during his early reign showed him without genitalia at all. Moreover, he showed a redundant belly in all his pictures."
|Skull from mummy found in KV55. Image courtesy of|
|Fragmentary relief depicting|
either a pathogenic condition
or simply stylized portrait of
the pharaoh Akhenaten.
|House altar relief of Nefertiti with her |
daughters, Meketaten and Ankhesenpaaten.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.