Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, March 16, 2009

Hawass: Of course. I always say, “Who knows what the sand of Egypt is hiding? Secrets.” You see, there are many secrets to be discovered. You know, in about two weeks from now I will announce—for the first time—an important study that I did with DNA and a CAT scan machine to reveal the family of King Tut; who was the real father and the mother and everything about his family. Because we know very little about that. And with DNA and a CAT scan, we were able to reveal, for the fist time, an important discovery that I will announce about two weeks from now. And it will be very important for people to know about this. The second thing that I’m also trying to discover is KV64. for the first time in the Valley of the Kings; [I am] looking for the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. Also, the secrets behind the secret doors I found inside the great pyramid. Year 2009 will be the year I come to reveal the secrets of the secrets of the pyramid for the first time.

Links to this interview, titled Zahi Hawass enthused about the future of Egyptology, have been on a few blogs over the weekend. It's worth reading if you haven't done so, but it's the paragraph above which is most interesting to me, for a number of reasons:

1) It suggests we should get the results of the DNA tests on the royal mummies by the end of the month. Among other things that may shed more light on the parentage of Tutankhamun (at least patrilineal), and maybe help to identify the mysterious occupant of KV55. My bet is on Smenkhare and a brother of Tutankhamun. But if the two were full brothers, that would also prove that neither Meketaten nor Nefertiti was the mother of Tutankhamun. There may be further surprises for some of the other mummies as well - who knows.

2) It suggests findings from the CAT scan of Tutankhamun. I thought that was public domain by know and that the indications were Tutankhamun had a badly infected fracture of his leg, an earlier break to his ankle and a badly impacted wisdom tooth. But no evidence if a blow to the head. (If anybody hasn't seen the videos, I've got 3 parts linked here. Watch Part 3 first. I've stopped work on that page until we get the DNA results. I'll finish off my page on Neferneferure in the meantime - she was much more interesting that I expected - I'm working my way through Nefertiti's daughters. Meritaten will be last because she is so interesting.)

3) News about KV64 has changed to "I am looking for". Elsewhere he is now talking about Nefertiti rather than Ramesses VIII. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. As he decried Nicholas Reeves for using term KV64 until a tomb had been located, by suspicion is that this is confirmatory that a tomb has been found. I'd still prefer a rather more clear cut statement though.

4) On other matters, he seems convinced there is something to reveal in the Great Pyramid. Perhaps after all the lead up 2009 will not be the year of new findings in the Valley of the Kings but instead be focused on the Great Pyramid. One thing is certain, Dr Hawass's time has come and if he is going to get in the history books, then this year is his chance. He's unlucky the Golden Mummies hasn't done it - it should have done but the publicity has been wrong.


Dennis said...

I have no answers on what Zahi is up to. I would not exclude the possibility that he got a peak at what he thought was a tomb which lead to an estimate on the TV story sale prospects. Now he has to find something else. Dr. Hawass did write back to me on my request for a webcam. He thinks the heat and dust would preclude something like the Pyramid cam or the various 'Africam's.

rymerster said...

Hawass has always promoted the KV55 occupant to be Akhenaten so if he and Tut are full brothers that means there had to have been a lengthy co-regency between Akhenaten and Amenhotep III.

Kate Phizackerley said...

If the mummy from KV55 is Akhenaten, then it should prove to be Tutankhamun's father. That's the point, DNA analysis may enable us to decide with more much certainty who that mysterios mummy was.

What also really interests me is whether the samples are good enough to test mitochondrial DNA rather than just nuclear. That could also help to reveal the mother of various figures. Because mitochondrial DNA is stable across generations, it could also reveal if any queens like Nefertiti came from outside Eypt - we just need more mummies of royal women.

Mind you, that said, if the mummy in KV55 was Akhenaten, then it would be very interesting whether his chromosomes were complex - such as either XXY or mosaic. I'd also love a CAT scan of that mummy too.


Anonymous said...

Zahi is a big bag of wind that promotes mainly himself.


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