Reading what has been written in press reports, it's tempting to conclude that the DNA testing of Tutankhamun's family has resolved everything. I don't think that's the case. I want to spend some time on looking at the family tree and chronology because I think it turns up some questions. It also highlights why some margin of error may need to be read into some of the results.
For instance if we take what is being said then we would have:
- Akhenaten reigned for 17 years (I've used his ascension as origin)
- His daughter Ankhesenamun (KV21A) was born in year 4 and was aged 21 - 25 at death
- His son Tutankhamun was born in year 12, ascended the throne at 9 and died aged 19.
As can be seen, that would give us two interesting things. There would be an inter-regnal gap between Akhenaten and Tutankhamun suggesting that there must have been another Pharaoh, possibly two. That's even if we discount co-regencies. But, if there was an intervening Pharaoh, why should be believe that the mummy in KV55 is Akhenaten rather than this other Pharaoh (Smenkhare?)? Indeed, since we now know that the KV55 mummy was the brother of Tutankhamun's mother, this would seem to conflict with the prevailing belief that Kiya was a foreign princess.
Secondly, Ankhesenamun would predecease Tutankhamun when we know she survived him and married his successor, Ay. I suspect that either the mummy from KV21 in the Valley of the Kings is not Ankhesenamun or the estimated age at death is wrong - and "her" mummy is in really quite poor condition to that is possible. I need to re-read various things, but I think it's also possible that Tutankhamun could have been born before Year 12 of Akhenaten's reign.
However, there is some evidence for two reigns between Akhenaten and Tutankhamun, one of 3+ years and one of perhaps only a year (although both could have been longer - the evidence is very thin). If Tutankhamun was born 3 years earlier so that he ascended the throne on the death of Akhenaten, then the estimated age of death of the KV21 mummy would fit what we know of Ankhesenamun. However, we would then probably be faced with co-regencies.
Yes, I know working in complete years is crude, but it's enough I think to illustrate the points I was wanting to make. The test results have advanced our knowledge, but they have not answered all of the key questions.