The Denver Art Museum's new mega-blockbuster exhibit "Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs," features more than a hundred artifacts associated with the celebrity pharaoh. But one thing you probably won't find anywhere is Tut's penis. That's because it's apparently missing, possibly because it was teeny-weenie.
That's the scoop from New Scientist reporter Jo Marchant, who discovered that the penis seemed to have been removed from the body at some point after the mummy was first unwrapped in 1922. The reporter believes the reason may be because Tut could have suffered from from Antley-Bixler syndrome, a mutation that leads to, among other things, elongated skulls and poorly developed genitalia.
In other words, Tut's fans didn't want people making fun of the size of his, ahem, sphinx.
Quite the contrary, retorts Egypt's head archaeologist -- and recent Denver visitor -- Zahi Hawass, who insists the boy king was very much a man under his royal garb.
But can he prove it? After all, no one seems to know where, exactly, the penis is these days. Its last appearance seems to have been in 1968, when a CT scan discovered it hidden in the sand surrounding the mummy.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Who knows? Maybe it's lurking around the DAM exhibit somewhere. When you stop by, keep an eye out for an AWOL penis -- but don't be surprised if it's really, really small.