The striking physical abnormality that afflicted one ancient Egyptian pharaoh would have set him apart from his peers. Relatively little is known about his actual reign, but a group of scientists have now confirmed that he suffered from a rare medical condition. And they believe it is the oldest such case ever identified.
Published in the medical journal The Lancet in August 2017, their findings are based on a forensic analysis of what are believed to be the pharaoh’s malformed bones. The study appears to have settled a long-running debate among Egyptologists and experts in ancient diseases.
In fact, the findings not only offer fascinating historical insights, but may have important therapeutic implications. “Studying the evolutionary development of diseases is of importance for today’s medicine,” one of the study’s authors, Michael Habicht of the University of Zurich, told the website Live Science.