Egyptian archaeologists have claimed to have finally solved the mystery of the lineage of boy king Tutankhamun more than 30 centuries after the pharaoh was sealed in a gold coffin.
A team, led by Zahi Hawass of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, will on Wednesday reveal the results of DNA testing carried out over the past 18 months on the pharaoh’s mummy as well as two mummified foetuses found in his burial chamber, The Independent reported.
According to Dr. Hawass, the findings were the most exciting since the discovery of the tomb by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922. They are also the latest in a stream of breakthroughs in knowledge about art and the ancient world that have been made possible by new technology.
Among the outstanding riddles, for example, is whether Tutankhamun’s mother was Queen Nefertiti — whose mummy has yet to be discovered — and whether the two foetuses found with him were his children.
“We don’t know how King Tut died. We have begun DNA testing and we have made some wonderful discoveries. The results have been confirmed by the Journal of the American Medical Association and they will be publishing all the findings. It is very exciting. We will know who King Tut was,” Dr. Hawass was quoted as saying.
Tutankhamun was the pharaoh of 18th dynasty during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom. He became the king at the age of nine and was one of the few pharaohs worshipped as a god and honoured with a cult-like following in his own lifetime.