Genetic Mapping | Em Hotep!

Posts Tagged ‘Genetic Mapping’

26
Dec

Introduction to Mummy Forensics: Terms, Concepts, and Resources

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Mummies

Mummy forensics is more than just a show on The History Channel, it is an entire field of Egyptology that helps us understand how the ancient Egyptians lived, worked, played, died, and how they prepared for the afterlife.

In this installment of the Em Hotep mummy series (which will eventually become the Mummy Section) we will take a look at the terms and concepts related to the various methods Egyptologists use to study mummies with links to carefully selected websites and articles to further your own investigation.  Whether you are working on a term paper or just interested in mummies, this primer will get you started.

And just a quick note—some of the subheadings in this primer, such as the part on facial reconstruction, will have their own more detailed sections that will include more media, as well as original interviews, so stay tuned!

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So much for the evil god Set keeping his mouth shut—people just seem to insist on questioning authority.  The JAMA article is jammed with answers, but queries continue.  Assembled here for your pleasure and edification are the best examples of critical questioning culled from the Egyptological blogosphere.    

Tangled roots, the passed-over prince, aging them bones, lack of control, and Kate Phizackerley’s Quest for Accuracy.

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23
Mar

The Mummies Gallery

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News, Mummies, New Kingdom

Meet the mummies of the Family of Tutankhamun Project!  If you are looking for a mummy-by-mummy summary of the recent JAMA article, then you are in luck! 

In The Mummies Gallery we will take a look at each of the mummies in both the study and control groups and pull together the familial and pathological data for easy referencing.

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Was King Tut murdered?  Did Akhenaten have both a male and female physiology?  Did incest and inbreeding lead the Eighteenth Dynasty down a genetic dead end?  Last month the Family of Tutankhamun Project attempted to answer these questions—and more—with the publication of a two-year forensic study of sixteen mummies of the Eighteenth Dynasty.

This article is the first of several in which we will attempt to put the research into layperson’s terms.  First we will take a look at the what, who, where, why and how of the study itself.

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10
Mar

Zahi Hawass to the Terrible God Set: Silence!

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News, Modern Egypt

Is academic criticism the personification of evil itself?

Egypt’s Vice Minister of Culture Zahi Hawass seems to think so.  As the critics, both pro and con, chime in with their own analysis of the recent JAMA article, Dr. Hawass seems to cross the line between making a response and taking offense.

“I call on Set, the [ancient Egyptian] god of evil to remain silent this time!”

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Plus:  Catching Up Em Hotep!

All the world is abuzz with the long-awaited release of the current genetic study of the Eighteenth Dynasty, particularly as it relates to the goose that continues to lay the golden eggs—King Tut. 

Your humble scribe is still mulling over the subject before attempting his own contribution, but in the meanwhile, here are a few excellent pieces from some of the most excellent writers in the Egyptology blogosphere.  In the spirit of parsimony, I have narrowed my selection down to the three which I found to be the most unique in their approach and thought provoking in their implications.  Enjoy!

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ZahiHawass2-tabOctober has come and gone and it’s time to review our checklist of things Dr. Zahi Hawass had  “promised, hinted, and suggested” would occur during—if not before—last month.  So how did he do?

It is kind of hard to say someone had a bad month when they successfully reclaimed five artifacts from the Louvre and were appointed Vice Minister of Culture.  So call me a taskmaster, but those two things were not on the list…

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20
Oct

Nefertiti a Bust? October Checklist Update

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News

Nefertiti_berlinWe have a status report on the effort to repatriate Nefertiti, thanks to an interview with Dr. Zahi Hawass published in Spiegel Online International this morning.  The prognosis looks dim.  In fact, the goal seems to have moved somewhat.  When asked if he really wanted to remove Nefertiti from her new home, Dr. Hawass replied “Not by any means.”

What could this portent for our October Checklist?  With eleven days to go, maybe it’s time we reviewed.

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16
Oct

The Swiss Mummy Project Wraps Up Current Experiment

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News, Mummies

smp-tabThe University of Zurich’s Swiss Mummy Project, headed by anatomist and paleopathologist Dr. Frank Ruhli , has succeeded in mummifying a human leg.  Well, two legs, actually.  Ok, to be honest, the test subject didn’t go so well, so I guess it was one leg after all. 

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28
Sep

Blogroll Roundup for September 28, 2009

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News

Prophets in Egypt, the Luxor Museum, someone else mapping the geneology of the Eighteenth Dynasty, more Egyptian medicinal practices, KV63, and a toast for Tut…

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zah-tabFor obvious reasons, the primary source for what is going on in Egyptology is the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and the voice of the SCA is Dr. Zahi Hawass.  Some exciting things have been promised (or at least dangled before us!) for the 2009/10 excavation season, but not everything on the radar is being dug out of the ground.  There are mummy forensic studies, DNA tests, and the repatriation of artifacts, all of which play a role in Egyptology.

Dr. Hawass has promised, hinted, and suggested that October 2009 is going to be a particularly active month.  Just for fun, let’s make a checklist…

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20
Sep

Zahi Hawass to Announce Results of DNA Tests this Fall

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in 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…”

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zahi-indyIt has been nearly a month now since Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced that in one month he would reveal “the exact reason why King Tut died.” 

The title of the lecture was Mysteries of Tutankhamun Revealed.  I was in attendance, and among the most exciting revelations were promises to reveal more revelations in the very near future.

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dna-tabKate Phizackerley of News from the Valley of the Kings has raised a few questions of her own regarding DNA Testing Limitations.  It is the most accessible treatment of the subject that I have seen so far, and if you really want to have a thorough understanding of this very interesting story as it unfolds, you owe it to yourself to give it a read.

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smp-tabCare for a peek inside the mysteries of mumification?

Swiss mummy makers have sent a human leg into the afterlife, but it hasn’t exactly gone like clockwork.  Plus, will their analysis of the degrading effects of mummi-fication on DNA prove more bitter than sweet for the genetic mapping of Tutankhamun’s family?

 

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