4,700 years ago, Ancient Egypt was ruled by Sanakht of the Third Dynasty. This Pharaoh has puzzled historians and archaeologists for some time, now, as they are still unsure of when exactly he took power, when he died, and what kind of a ruler he was. Much of what we know about him comes from a few relics left from this distant time period.
However, since the year 1901, a group of researchers have regarded one skeleton to possibly be that of Sanakht. The skeleton, found in 1901 at a village called Beit Khallaf, is unusually large for a person of the time, measuring at just over 6 feet. This is 12 percent above the average for that time period.
The Lancet reports that the remains used to be a person who suffered from gigantism. A team of researchers at the University of Zurich has analyzed work done on the remains, and have concluded that this may be oldest example of the condition in human history.
Gigantism is caused by the overproduction of growth hormones during childhood, making the person grow way more than their familial history suggests they would. High blood pressure, which often leads to a fatal heart attack, is one of the most dangerous complications associated with gigantism.
Many would think that being about 7 inches taller than the average person at the time would carry its societal advantages, but that actually did not seem to be the case in Ancient Egypt. In fact, the opposite was true. Dwarves were actually held in high esteem and were often appointed to be pharaohs’ assistants, as well as being regarded as divine.