Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, March 26, 2010

Although I call this blog "News from the Valley of the Kings" I think the tombs in the cliffs above Hatshepsut's temple are at least as important - with the enticing possibility that there may still be an opened tomb here.  In his latest post, Zahi Hawass reports on his recent exploration of the tomb

One has to laugh though.  He relates that this tomb might be more important that Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings.  It's certainly arguable that KV62 isn't the most important tomb, but Dr Hawass relates how the Deir el-Bahri cache was found by an Egyptian peasant.  It's a nice story for Egyptian television that the most important tomb was found by an Egyptian not by the foreigner, Carter.

Of course, his article neglects to mention that the Rassul family were notorious for tomb robbing.

What is much more interesting is that Dr Hawass reveals the focus of the next royal mummy project.  It isn't filling in the obvious gaps in the DNA of Tutankhamun's family but locating the family of Ramses II.  He says:

Now we are working to extract DNA and perform CT scans on this mummy as well as Seti I, Ramses II, and Ramses III, in order to find answers about these mummies. We are also examining Unknown Man E, to possibly identify him and his relationship with Ramses III. We hope that this investigation will reveal the secrets of the family of Ramses II.
That worries me. We have seen from the Tutankhamun Family project that with an inbred royal family relationships can be wrongly assessed and the collateral branches of the family, especially the women, are necessary to try to eliminate some of the alternatives.  I wonder how much we will be able to tell with just 5 mummies, all male? We'll see - no doubt on Discovery Channel.


rymerster said...

I'm surprised that the gaps in the 17th/18th Dynasty family tree aren't being looked at first.

I suppose it doesn't make for exciting telly.


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