Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, March 26, 2010

Writing on a subject dear to my heart, Dylan Bickerstaffe rounds up the saga of the Tutankhamun DNA testing.  It's great to see an established author tackling this subject.  I strongly recommend his article, and not just because he kindly references me: as Dylan suggests, we have also swap several emails on the subject.

If you had trouble following the logic of my own article, then Dylan takes a less scientific and more accessible approach which I commend to you. I particularly like his observation that the KV21 mummies could be wet nurses drawn from the royal family and therefore genetically similar to them so that with limited testing they may appear to be mothers although in fact they may only have been aunts and cousins.

Dylan also observes that there is a history of assuming the forensic data has proven a relationship without considering the context of the data by scoffing at the claims that the identification of Hatshepsut with a mummy found in tomb KV60 in the Valley of the Kings has been proven.  It is evidence; not proof.  That is a distinction lawyers appreciate.


Paul said...

Congratulations on having Dylan Bickerstaffe taking up your batton with the DNA analysis.

Anonymous said...

I have always thought that the KV 55 skeleton was more likely not to be akhenaten and now your 'unpacking' of the JAMA's reporting of the SCA's case now taken up by Dylan seems to be very persuasive. The SCA under Hawass are unlikely to admit openly that their analysis is off the mark but unless they know something we do not have access to then there are more questions than answers currently, daveh

Anonymous said...

The few relics of jewelry reported taken from the unwrapping of the KV55 mummy. what happened to them, are they in the Cairo museum, or did Theo Davis acquire them? Was the KV 55 mummy robbed in antiquity and then restored with the few golden items, a necklace and gold head wrap, hardly anything as compared to King Tut. It seems that the KV55 mummy either lost most of his treasures or never had very many, the latter indicating he was not a "great" king given much in the grave goods line.

Anonymous said...

It is a widespread opinion that Tutankhamun buried his father in KV55 as his accessor and surely did what he could to provide him with grave goods. Many of them seem to have been re-used for Tut`s own burial, so that explains why there was almost nothing left in KV55.

I don`t believe Hawass has any information to "prove" that KV55 is Akhenaten other than what he has provided.

What good would it be for him to withhold findings which could further strengthen his claim?

I am rather worried that he might have dropped some information which could point to other conclusions, but that is just my thought.

Keith Payne/Shemsu Sesen said...

Hi Kate,

Again, fantastic work on the KV55 matter. By the way, I am sure you have already had this pointed out, but since I haven’t seen it mentioned elsewhere I will bring it up here.

In addition to Dylan Bickerstaffe, another very well established writer has referenced your work. In the comments section to his blog entry "Time for the Great Pyramid" (, Mark Rose from Archaeology Magazine says:

“I have read Kate’s initial post with great interest. Am also in touch with Carsten Pusch about this–hope to have an interview before long in which he responds to various questions that have come up, including Kate’s.”

This was in response to another reader commenting that Mark should check you out.

This is quite a big splash you have made in a very large pond. Good work, and congrats!

Jan said...

A Spanish laboratory, DNA Solutions Europe, has done its own analysis of the DNA results
Clearly sets out answers to JAMA tests. Please read here:|en


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