MessageToEagle.com - The boy king Tutankhamun was a pharaoh who accomplished very little in his life but he is the most
recognized and probably the most famous pharaoh today.
His life was cut short by his sudden and mysterious death.
Previous interpretations of the genetic closeness between Tutankhamun and his father Akhenaten suggested that
Tut’s mother had to have been an unknown aunt.
Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, during the period of Egyptian history known as
the New Kingdom.
Scientists at Zurich-based DNA genealogy centre, iGENEA,
reconstructed the DNA profile of the boy Pharaoh, who ascended the throne at the age of nine, his father Akhenaten
and grandfather Amenhotep III, based on a film that was made for the Discovery Channel.
"In the year 2009 extended DNA-tests had been carried out with the mummy of Tutankamun and other members for his family,"
reported iGENEA. "These have only partially been published in February 2010. Despite several demands, the results
of the Y-DNA tests have been shut away."
"iGENEA was able to reconstruct the Y-DNA profile of Tutankhamun, his father Akhenaten and his grandfather
Amenhotep III with the help of a recording of the Discovery Channel. The astonishing result is that
Tutankhamun belongs to the haplogroup R1b1a2, which more than 50% of all men in Western Europe belong to."
Around 70 per cent of Spanish and 60 per cent of French men also belong to the genetic group of the Pharaoh
who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.
Recently, French Egyptologist Marc Gabolde offered a different interpretation of the DNA evidence on Thursday. Speaking
at Harvard’s Science Center, Gabolde said he’s convinced that Tut’s mother was not his father’s sister, but
rather his father’s first cousin, Nefertiti.
Nefertiti was already known to be Akhenaten’s wife and in fact the two had six daughters. Gabolde believes they also
had a son, Tutankhamun, and that the apparent genetic closeness revealed in the DNA tests was not a result of a single
brother-to-sister mating, but rather due to three successive generations of marriage between first cousins.
Ancient paintings in the Valley of Kings near Luxor. Photo Credits: Egyptian Tourism Bureau
“The consequence of that is that the DNA of the third generation between cousins looks like the DNA between a brother
and sister,” said Gabolde, the director of the archaeological expedition of Université Paul Valery-Montpellier III
in the Royal Necropolis at el-Amarna. “I believe that Tutankhamun is the son of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, but that
Akhenaten and Nefertiti were cousins.”
Tutankhamun was a pharaoh some 3,300 years ago. He was made pharaoh at age 8 or 9 and ruled for about 10 years.
According to Gabolde, Tut’s tomb was not intended as such. The real — and undiscovered — tomb, he said, was probably
under construction when he died at 19, and is likely somewhere in the Valley of Kings, on the Nile.
The place where he was actually buried was probably not intended for a royal burial but hurriedly prepared when
Tut died unexpectedly, most likely of an infection that took hold when he broke his leg.
“Nobody could imagine he would die so young,” Gabolde said.
Other details of Tut’s life, which Gabolde has pieced together from carved images and inscriptions, include a
military campaign in Syria, in which he likely didn’t personally take part. Tut also was interested in Nubia, a
region in southern Egypt and northern Sudan.
Inscriptions on a fan that belonged to Tut showed him hunting ostriches, whose feathers were used to make the fan.
In addition, Gabolde said, a staff found in Tut’s tomb some inscriptions that showed it was made of a tall reed,
cut by Tut himself in a city on the Nile delta.
Gabolde also traced an ornament that was found with Tut when he was discovered in 1922, but had since disappeared.
Gabolde said he believes the golden hawk-head clasp, part of a broad collar worn by Tut, is in a private collection,
sold by Tut discoverer Howard Carter to pay for surgery later in his life.
"The rest of the broad collar was stolen during World War II," Gabolde said.