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Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh is World’s Oldest Case of Gigantism

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:20 am

An ancient Egyptian pharaoh who ruled 4,700 years ago was a giant, scientists have announced. The remains, believed to belong to King Sanakht, who ruled during the third Dynasty, are believed to represent the oldest case of gigantism ever found—indicating the condition was not associated with social isolation.

In an article published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, experts analyze skeletal remains first discovered in 1901 in a tomb near Beit Khallaf, Egypt, around 70 miles northwest from Luxor. While it is unclear who the tomb belonged to, relief fragments bearing Sanakht’s name led people to believe it belonged to this little-known king.

The tomb contained the remains of a very tall man—he would have stood at around 187cm, or 6 foot 1 inches. This is far taller than other Egyptians at the time, who would have been closer to 5 foot 4 inches, on average.

Francesco M. Galassi, from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and colleagues, believe Sanakht’s unusual height was the result of gigantism, a hormonal condition that results in abnormal, excessive growth. If correct, this would be the earliest ever diagnosis of the condition. Other earlier skeletons have been diagnosed with acromegaly—while both acromegaly and gigantism have a similar cause, acromegaly occurs in adulthood and gigantism occurs in childhood.

In their investigation, the team looked at different measurements of Sanakht’s skull and compared them with data from anthropological databases. They scored their height averages against those of ancient Egyptian commoners to see just how much taller he was. While royalty were generally taller than common people, King Sanakht was “much taller” than any others. “From all known royal mummies, no other king or queen fulfils the requirement of gigantism,” the team wrote.

Analyzing the skeleton, they said that “only his long bones show signs of exuberant growth (gigantism),” adding the dimensions of his face are not enlarged to the same extent. “The alleged Sanakht probably had gigantism, truly being the oldest known palaeopathological case in the world,” they continue.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:21 am



An ancient Egyptian pharaoh who ruled 4,700 years ago was a giant, scientists have announced. The remains, believed to belong to King Sanakht, who ruled during the third Dynasty, are believed to represent the oldest case of gigantism ever found—indicating the condition was not associated with social isolation.

 
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Kw33n
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Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:32 pm

Unread post Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:52 pm

I've always found the study of giants very interesting as they are referenced in the Bible which I read frequently as a child. I was very pleased to read about this finding. I hope that more information will come forth in future. Thank you for sharing, Owlscrying.

In Peace and Light.

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