Mysterious Egyptian pharaoh may have had oldest known case of gigantism

Skeletal remains of a man, believed to be Sanakht, an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 4,700-year-old Third Dynasty, analysed by scientists 

Wednesday 09 August 2017 19:36
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Images from 1901 of the skull that is believed to belong to Pharaoh Sanakht
Images from 1901 of the skull that is believed to belong to Pharaoh Sanakht

A mysterious Egyptian pharaoh may have had the oldest known case of gigantism, it has been reported.

The skeletal remains of a man believed to be Sanakht, an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 4,700-year-old Third Dynasty, appear to be unusually large for the time period.

A team from the University of Zurich has concluded the pharaoh suffered from gigantism, which is triggered by the overproduction of growth hormones during childhood.

It not only results in an individual becoming tall but their hands, feet, forehead, jaw and nose also expand rapidly.

The remains, which were first found in 1901, were analysed and found to be 12 per cent larger than the average, according to new research published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal.

The bones were found buried with honours in an elite tomb, which indicated that gigantism was not associated with social marginalisation in ancient Egypt.

Although there doesn't appear to have been any societal negatives with having gigantism, it would have not have carried any advantages.

However, it is believed those who had dwarfism were treated in particularly high regard by the ancient Egyptians.

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