Meet the “Giant” Pharaoh that ruled over Ancient Egypt 5,000 years ago

Experts have found the ‘skeletal remains’ of the first “GIANT Pharaoh” to have ruled over the ancient Egyptian Civilization, around 5,000 years ago. 

A new study performed on the unusual (2-meter) skeleton of a pharaoh from ancient Egypt has concluded that this could be the earliest case of gigantism ever recorded.

As part of a mummy research led by experts from the Institute of Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zurich, researchers studied the skeletal remains found in 1901 in a tomb near Bet Jalaf, Middle Egypt. The tomb is believed to have held the remains of a Pharaoh from the Third Dynasty (circa 2700 BCE) most likely Sa-Nakht, a lesser-known pharaoh whose position in ancient Egyptian history is still a subject of debate among scholars.

Sa-Nakht—or the Giant Pharaoh—is said to have ruled over the Nile River civilization around 1,000 years before Ramses II came to the throne.

Curiously, according to historical records, Ramses was considered very tall thousands of years ago– having a height of around 1.75 m. However, Ramses was ‘dwarfed’ by the size of Sa-Nakht.

Sa-Nakht’s height is precisely what captured the interest of experts. He was tall, extremely tall, and it is clear based on the extensive analysis of ancient Egyptian mummies that the average height of men at that time and in that part of the world was nowhere near that.

As pointed out by Michael Habicht—author of the study, the average height for people, thousands of years ago, was approximately 5 feet 6 inches (1.7 m).

But Sa-Nakht was not an otherworldly giant. Charles S. Myers points out in the book “The Bones of Hen Nekht, an Egyptian King of the Third Dynasty,” Sa-Nakht’s skull was rather large and capacious— his cranial index was unusually broad and almost brachycephalic.

In fact, according to a study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, Sa-Nakht experienced a case gigantism, which is a hormonal condition that results in abnormal and excessive growth.

Even though previous ancient skeletons have been diagnosed with acromegaly, and display a similar cause to gigantism, acromegaly tents to occur in adulthood and gigantism in childhood. Also, it is possible that another pharaoh, Akhenaten, suffered from a similar syndrome, but only centered on its extremities.

“In ancient times, there was no surgical or pharmaceutical treatment available to treat the condition; so it is very likely that it was a product of the degeneration of the pituitary gland. He could have died of a heart attack,” the study explains.

Although several researchers point out that the identification of Sa-Nakht’s remains are doubtful, the medical evaluation of gigantism in this case has a great value, since it would be the oldest known evidence of Gigantism on Earth.

Also, even if these remains did not belong to the “giant king,” it is very probable that it was someone from the upper classes, because of the vestiges of a dignified burial, point our researchers.


Reference: The Oldest case of gigantism?

Featured image: The Prince of Egypt / Shutterstock

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