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Egypt's most famous king died at the age of eighteen, and in the three thousand years since his death, the fabulous treasure buried with the young ruler has become as famous as his name. It has long been assumed that Tutankhamun died of natural causes, yet his hurried burial, first in a virtually unmarked grave, suggests there may have been an attempt, or plot, to conceal the evidence of fatal head wounds. Behind King Tut's calm death mask, Doherty uncovers a turbulent tale of bloody intrigues at the Egyptian court, most of them pointing to the possibility of murder. The powerful cabal that ran the court and governed the country might have had young Tutankhamun assassinated; or he might have been killed at the instruction of the imperious first minister, Ay, who sought to seize the pharaonic crown for himself. And what role did the beautiful Ankhesenamun, Ay's granddaughter and Tutankhamun's queen, play in the labyrinthine courtly scheming? Coupling modern research with the original testimony of Howard Carter, the archaeologist who discovered Tutankhamun's tomb, Doherty reconstructs a scenario of the king's short reign as illuminating as the revelations regarding his sudden, mysterious death are fascinating. Color photographs are included.