King Tut Reunited with Family Jewels

Despite this entry's title, this isn't an announcement of a new tour for Tutankhamen's remains and relics through high-profile museums around the globe. For those of you astute enough to realize a streak of ribaldry runs through Seed's editorial department, your initial lowbrow impression of this post was correct:

The lost penis of King Tut has at last been found! (update: 5.5.06 - looks like Discovery removed the story... Does anyone have an updated link?)

Apparently I've been living under a rock - I didn't know it was missing.

From the Discovery Channel story:

Photographed intact by Harry Burton (1879-1940) during Howard Carter's excavation of Tut's tomb in 1922, the royal penis was reported missing in 1968, when British scientist Ronald Harrison took a series of X-rays of the mummy.

Speculation abounded that the penis had been stolen and sold.

"Instead, it has always been there. I found it during the CT scan last year, when the mummy was lifted. It lay loose in the sand around the king's body. It was mummified," Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Discovery News.

While this is yet another feather in the plumage-festooned cap of Hawass (he's arguably the world's premier Egyptologist), this can't be good for the rep of Egyptian archaeology among the "Pyramids were built by aliens or Atlanteans" fringe.

Sure, worrying about what that crowd thinks of Egyptology is akin to worrying about a corpse catching a cold, but it's still worth some chuckles just to speculate some commentary: "If they managed to lose King Tut's penis in a box of sand for nearly forty years, what else have they overlooked?"


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