Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'll pop another post on News from the Valley of the Kings tomorrow following the press confernce but for now I'll just recap the findings as they are being reported in advance of the press conference.  Refer to my earlier posts for links to articles in support of these.

  • The mummy in KV55 was Tutankhamun's father best on partial Y-chromosome matching.
  • There are reports that the KV55 mummy was the son of Amenhotep III (Amenophis III) but I've yet to see this backed by facts.  That will have to wait for tomorrow.
  • There is speculative identification of the KV55 mummy as Akhenaten.  That seems likely but I suspect it's an over-simplification for the press as I'm not yet aware of evidence which proves the identification.
  • The Younger Lady from the Valley of the Kings tomb KV35 is identified as Tutankhamun's mother.  So far I have not seen the genetic basis on which this has been determined.  (I am not doubting the conclusion, just saying the method isn't in the reports I have read.)
  • The Younger Lady was related to the mummy in KV55.  Reports are suggesting a brother-sister relationship.
  • If the KV55 mummy was Akhenaten, the conclusion is that the Younger Lady was probably not Nefertiti as they are not believed to have been brother and sister.  However, if the mummy in KV55 was Smenkhare instead of Akhenaten, then the Younger Lady could have been Nefertiti or one of her daughters like Meritaten.
  • It is confirmed that the foetuses in KV62 were no carried to term and were Tutankhamun's children.
  • Since (presumably), Ankhesenamun was the mother of these foetuses, their DNA should include mitochondrial DNA frim Nefertiti, their grandmother.  It will therefore be interesting to read what has been found in the the DNA from these foetuses as it could speak further to the identity of the Younger Lady.
  • Tutankhamun's grandmother has been identified ... Queen Tiye?
  • In total the lineage of 5 generations has been shown.  The 5th generation is not mentioned but is presumably Amenhotep III's father.
  • Tutankhamun had a cleft palate and club foot.  
  • There are no signs of Marfans Syndrome nor feminising genetic disorders in either Tutankhamun's mummy or the KV55 mummy.  Similarly there is no evidence of significant cranial elongation.
  • Tutankhamun was suffering from a serious form of malaria - malarial DNA was found in his mummy.  (Note: I wish to read whether malaria can infect a corpse post mortem as so far I have not seen this possibility discounted.)
There are still a few gaps when the list is presented like that and I am really hoping the full study will be published but we do know a great deal more than we did before this study.

12 comments:

Vincent said...

Thanks for the summary Kate.

Vincent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

If the younger lady is Tuts mother and also Akhenatens sister then this really is intriguing!
Presuming that this woman was not also Nefertiti if Akhenaten was married to his own sister then i cannot understand why this royal princess would not have been great royal wife rather than Nefertiti, presuming that Nefertiti was the daughter of a commoner(Ay). In other words what would have been the purpose of marrying his own sister to make her only a secondary wife, unless i suppose it was for the sole purpose of procreating a male heir (only 5 female offspring with Nefertiti) which is what occurred with the birth of Tut. The royal pedigree of his mother would thus have reinforced Tuts claim to the throne!
However if the brother sister relationship is not 100%, then could the relationship be between father and daughter and hence could Tut be the offspring of Akhenaten and Meritaten, i am not sure if this would work out chronologically!

Anonymous said...

It will be very important to determine the genetic relationship between the KV-35 younger lady and queen Tiye. Did the DNA test prove the younger lady was a child of Tiye? If Tiye was the KV-35 younger lady's mother, who were Tiye's already named children other than Tut's father? And what of the boy mummy in KV35? Was he a brother of the younger lady and or a son of Queen Tiye?

Anonymous said...

At last I have been proven right. KV 55 is my guy Ankhenaten.

Anonymous said...

It hasn't yet been definitively proven that the mummy in KV 55 is Akhenaten - we mustn't jump to conclusions

Jim said...

Yes, as far as I can see the reporting of this hasn't yet provided any detailed reasoning for the identifications given for the mummies - despite a lot of searching, all I can find is the potted newspaper-friendly versions, which are more interested in Tut's various diseases than his lineage. If anyone has a link for the detailed info, I'd be VERY grateful... as it is, all we really seem to have are bare assertions by Hawass which, with the best will in the world, aren't enough to convince me on their own. To my mind, proving a father/son relationship is not the same as positively identifying who the father was, at least not without something more to support the assertion. Furthermore, has anyone else noticed that the elusive Smenkhare has now become so elusive that he doesn't even get a mention (at least in any report that I've seen). I know that he was airbrushed out of ancient history, but let's hope we're not seeing a repeat scenario in modern times... [Jim Reeve]

Kate Phizackerley said...

Jim
The full report is here: http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/303/7/638?home

It's a pay job. I'll buy it next week - I'm pressed for time this week.

Kate

Jim said...

Thanks Kate :) Yes, I'd seen that, and also noted that it requires payment, so I'd decided to find something elsewhere... call me cheap, but I'll wait for next week :D

rymerster said...

For me, this is the most exciting event in Egyptology since the initial reveal of the faces of the coffins in KV63.

I was sceptical about the KV55 mummy being Akhenaten but the pieces seem to fit for me now. Very pleased that the Elder Lady is Tiye - I have always thought she resembled some of the representations of the queen.

As for the Younger Lady - she is probably known to us as one of the princesses of AIII but presumably as she died prematurely may not have been represented in Amarna art - just about plausible that she had Tut before the court moved to Amarna or she lived in another city, perhaps Memphis where Tut's wetnurse and tutor also resided.

As we have the names of 5 daughters of Tiye it will be impossible to establish which one she is - although I would eliminate Sitamun as she was married to her father; as was Iset (in Year 34) and Baketaten is shown at Amarna as a young child. That still leaves Henuttaneb (whose name means "lady of the lands") and Nebetah ("Lady of the Palace"), both of whom could fit the bill. I should add that in one depiction Henuttaneb's name is in a cartouche, unlike her sister Nebetah, which could indicate she was a queen.

Anonymous said...

The Queen from KV21 has been identified as the mother of the babies found in Tutankhamun's tomb. As he only had one wife, that must therefore make her Ankhesenamun. She was born a few years before him, making her 21, yet the tests put the age of this mummy at 25-40 years. Therefore, age estimation seem to be way out for mummies and this brings the age of the KV55 skeleton into question. Everyone seems to have forgotten that when he was found, bands on his arms gave the name of Akhenaten, definite proof of who it was. The bands were sent to Cairo museum where they 'disappeared'.
Check the old reports from Arthur Weigell who was there at the finding. Only because there was no deformaties has the identity been in question. It's taken a long time but finally his name can be spoken, with truth!
Hawass cannot now claim the Younger Lady to be Nefertiti without giving the glory of her find to Joane Fletcher, so the identity has to be 'someone else'.

rymerster said...

It doesn't matter that the mummy KV21A is aged 25 to 40 because we have no evidence to suggest when Akhenesenamun or a few other of her sisters died (KV21B is supposed to be her sister). It is entirely plausible that she lived on after Tutankhamun's reign as we have no evidence of how old she was when she died. Former queens were not generally mentioned after their husbands died unless they were the mother of the new king (as in the case of Tiye and Ramesses II's mother).

Likewise, with the exception of Meketaten, we have no clue as to when any of the other daughters of Akhenaten and Nefertiti died. Indeed, an item in Tutankhamun's tomb was Neferneferure's, which could show that she was still living.

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