Public gets to see King Tut's face

LUXOR, EGYPT (CBS) -- The linen wrapped mummy of the ancient Egyptian king, King Tut, was put on public display for the first time on Sunday, 85 years after the 3,000-year-old boy pharaoh's golden tomb and mummy were discovered in Luxor's famed Valley of the Kings.

Archaeologists removed the 5 feet, 6 inches tall  mummy from his stone sarcophagus in his underground tomb, momentarily pulling aside a white linen covering to reveal his shriveled black face and body.

The mummy of the 19-year-old pharaoh, whose life and death has captivated people for nearly a century, was then moved to another part of the tomb, where it was then placed in a climate-controlled glass box, with only the face showing under the linen covering. 

Zahi Hawass, Egypt's antiquities chief, said scientists began restoring King Tut's badly damaged mummy more than two years ago after it was removed briefly from its sarcophagus and placed into a CT scanner for the first time for further examination.

The mystery surrounding King Tutankhamen and his glittering gold tomb has entranced ancient Egypt fans since Carter first discovered the hidden tomb on November 4, 1922, revealing a trove of fabulous gold and precious stone treasures.

Archeologists in recent years have tried to resolve lingering questions over how he died and his precise royal lineage. Several books and documentaries dedicated to the young pharaoh, who is believed to have been the 12th ruler of ancient Egypt's 18th dynasty and ascended to the throne around the age of 8, are popular around the world.

In an effort to try to solve the mysteries, scientists removed Tut's mummy from his tomb and placed it into a portable CT scanner for 15 minutes in 2005 to obtain a three-dimensional image.
The scans were the first done on an Egyptian mummy and the results did rule out that Tut was violently murdered, however they stopped short of definitively concluding how he died around 1323B.C.

Experts for the time though suggested that days before dying, Tut badly broke his left thigh, apparently in an accident, that may have caused a fatal infection.

CBS News contributed to this report.

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