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DNA Testing Unveils Mummy


In Cairo, Egyptian authorities identified a mummy found over a hundred years ago. Thanks to advances in DNA testing and analysis, it’s possible to trace unidentified remains that could be of historical significance. The mummy was identified using analyses on an ancient tooth belonging to the pharaoh Queen Hatshepsut.

DNA Testing Unveils Mummy

The Egyptian mummies have always been shrouded in mystery and held fascination for historians and archaeologists. The Egyptians were one of the most advanced races, inspiring tales of romance and intrigue. Using DNA analysis it’s been possible to find out who the remains found in the Valley of the Kings burial ground in 1903 belonged to. The Egyptian Museum used DNA testing and is 100% sure the remains are that of the Queen. The Egyptians used embalming techniques, and the scientists were able to carry out testing on the tooth which matched a gap in the jaw and on the Queen’s embalmed organs found in a relic box.

Life and Death

Women in Egypt were famous for their power. Cleopatra has notably inspired films and novels mythologizing her life. It’s thought however that Queen Hatshepsut was more powerful than Cleopatra, ruling over Egypt more than 3,000 years ago. The Queen it was reported wore a fake beard to pass herself off as a pharaoh and even dressed like a man. DNA testing also reveals more about how she died as well as who she was when she lived. It’s thought she died in her fifties of diabetes, liver cancer and obesity.

Testing Mummy DNA

Egyptian mummies are probably some of the best preserved ancient remains thanks to their unique embalming techniques. But extracting the DNA is a delicate process. DNA tests on living humans can be completed in a day, but on mummies it takes months of painstaking work.

DNA Testing On Bones

DNA analysis was conducted on bones from the remains to confirm the mummy’s relationship with Nefreteri who was Hatshepsut’s grandmother. Extracting Mummy DNA is difficult, but molecular biologists have now recovered the DNA from hundreds of Egyptian mummies. It’s important for the tissue samples to be uncontaminated – DNA testing is difficult but can be invaluable in confirming the identity and relationships of historical figures from the era.

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