King Tut's Mummy to Be Displayed for 1st Time

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Pharaoh's Face Exposed

The mummy has been examined four times before, but it has never been seen by the public.

In 2005 Hawass opened the sarcophagus to perform a series of CT scans that allowed researchers to create a reproduction of the king's face.

(See photos of Tut's mummy and reconstructed face.)

"I was fascinated with his face," said Hawass, who noted the king's buck teeth are similar to those of the pharaoh's royal ancestors.

"Meeting King Tut face to face was very personal. … It was an important moment in my life."

Tutankhamun became pharaoh at the age of nine, ruling for only ten years in the 14th century B.C. before meeting an untimely death.

(Read: "King Tut Died From Broken Leg, Not Murder, Scientists Conclude" [December 1, 2006].)

Awakening the Curse

Exposing the mummy is likely to resurrect the myth of the pharaoh's curse, once believed to bring tragedy to those who disturb the tomb.

Most famously, Carter's sponsor, Lord Carnarvon, died shortly after entering the tomb from an infected mosquito bite.

Other tragedies were also blamed on the curse, and some experts have said ancient toxins lying in the tomb could have played a role.

"There is always mystery about King Tut, and it will never stop," Hawass said. (Watch how scientists are unraveling mysteries of the king's life.)

"Of course this will reawaken fears of the curse, as any new project involving the tomb or the mummy always does."

"I don't believe in the curse at all," he added. "But the gold, the intact tomb, the curse—all this history makes everybody fascinated by King Tut."

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