Wednesday, February 17, 2010

who's who in Ancient Egypt's New Kingdom

very excited to hear that for the first time DNA sequences have been analysed to sort out the family relations between various mummies of Egyptian pharaohs. According to this report in National Geographic, Egyptian researchers using DNA from Tutankhamun and ten other members of his family have been able to establish a detailed family tree of Tutankhamun, demonstrate that the sun-worshipping inventor of monotheism, Akhenaten, was his father, and identify Akhenaten's mummy, previously known only as KV55. King Tut's mother appears to be one of Akhenaten's sisters, but her identity remains unclear. This rules out the previously popular hypothesis that his mother might have been Akhenaten's most famous wife, Nefertiti. Oh, and they also found evidence of various health problems, including malaria, allowing them to speculate on the likely causes of Tut's premature death at age 19.

Haven't read the paper yet, which is out today in the Journal of the American Medical Association:

Zahi Hawass et al., JAMA. 2010;303(7):638-647:
Ancestry and Pathology in King Tutankhamun's Family

1 comment:

Pearl said...

Interesting :)
Egypt's always been one of my favourite topics.

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