Zahi Hawass to Announce Results of DNA Tests this Fall

   Posted by: Keith Payne   

Categories: Egypt in the News

dna-tabFor weeks now you have been reading here at Em Hotep! about the genetic testing done on two fetuses found in the tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter in 1922, and the implications this may have for the genetic mapping of the Eighteenth Dynasty.

“And they’re about to become newsworthy,” Hawass’ spokesperson, Jill Lynch, told The Sacramento Bee today, “This fall, Dr. Zahi Hawass is going to announce the results of a DNA study that will determine the parenthood of the two fetuses…”

Originating story:  “Spotlight on Exhibits,” The Sacramento Bee.  [Story no longer online]

The results of the testing could be a significant step toward identifying other members of Tut’s royal family, such as his wife Ankhesenamun, and even Nefertiti herself (for the complete backstory on this read The Year of Nefertiti: Will Zahi Hawass’ Final Year at the SCA be a Last Dance with a Queen?, here on Em Hotep!).

Questions will undoubtedly be raised regarding the reliability of the samples and the testing methodology.  During his lecture at Clowes Hall at Indianapolis this summer (read my summary and analysis on Heritage Key) Dr. Hawass announced that the original results had been confirmed by a German lab, and that he was in the process of submitting both results to an unnamed journal for peer review.  In the Sacramento Bee article he only mentions two unnamed “DNA analysis laboratories” and makes no mention of peer review, so it will be interesting to watch this story unfold.

Accordingto the Bee, Dr. Hawass will announce the results of the tests “in the next few weeks.”


Copyright by Keith Payne, 2009.  All rights reserved.



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This entry was posted on Sunday, September 20th, 2009 at 7:16 am and is filed under Egypt in the News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 comments so far


I, too, will be very interested to await (in great anticipation, mind you) the soon-to-be-unfolded story of this endeavor. I hope that more mummies are identified than lost (I guess that’s the word for it). I recall some DNA testing being done a while ago (2007?). After that process, it turned out that what was thought to have been Djehuti-mes I’s mummy was indeed not. I wonder how Salima Akram thinks about all this. I’m sure she’d have something to say about chipping away at mummies.

September 22nd, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Hey Jenny, good to see you over here at Em!

A lot of this is supposed to “come to fruition” this October. I am compiling a list of Dr. Hawass’ statements regarding things that are supposed to happen next month so we can all easily mark them off as they occur.

It should be pretty exciting!

September 25th, 2009 at 6:10 pm

Always a pleasure to support my fellow Egyptology enthusiasts 😉

I see the checklist you posted and will have to stop by and leave a comment. I’ll have to keep my eyes and ears open this month for any detailed information on the aforementioned. I don’t mind which comes first, as long as we get detailed reports.

September 26th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Just a quick promo here for readers who may not know, Jenny runs The Egyptian Yell, which is one heck of a good source for Egyptology news, and one which I highly recommend!

September 27th, 2009 at 11:47 am

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