Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Manchester expert helps with pharaoh DNA analysis

17.07.2007
Preliminary results from DNA tests carried out on a mummy believed to be Queen Hatshepsut is expected to support the claim by Egyptian authorities that the remains are indeed those of Egypt’s most powerful female ruler.

Egyptologists in Cairo announced last month that a tooth found in a wooden box associated with Hatshepsut exactly fitted the jaw socket and broken root of the unidentified mummy.

Now, Dr Angelique Corthals, a biomedical Egyptologist at The University of Manchester, says that DNA tests she helped carry out with colleagues at the National Research Centre in Cairo have promising preliminary results suggesting the identity of the queen.

Dr Corthals, who is based at Manchester’s KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology, advised and trained a team led by Dr Yehia Gad in Egypt in techniques of extracting DNA samples from the mummified remains of the mystery female.

... more about:
»18th »Cairo »dynasty »mummies »pharaoh »tomb

The group then compared the DNA samples with those taken from Hatshepsut’s royal relatives – her grandmother Ahmose Nefertari, the matriarch of 18th dynasty royalty, and her father Thutmose I.

“The difficulty in carrying out DNA testing on the royal mummies resides in the many times the remains have been handled as well as the chemical processes of mummification,” said Dr Corthals.

“Ironically, the chemicals that preserve the appearance of the mummies actually damage their DNA but the team was able to extract small amounts of genetic information from the areas of the mummies least affected by contamination.

“When the DNA of the mystery mummy was compared with that of Hatshepsut’s ancestors, we were able to scientifically confirm that the remains were those of the 18th dynasty queen.”

Hatshepsut, meaning ‘Foremost of Noble Ladies’, was Egypt’s greatest female ruler, having greater power than even Cleopatra. The fifth pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, her reign in the 15th century BC was longer than any other female ruler of an indigenous dynasty

Most of the 18th dynasty royal mummies were moved away from their original tombs in the Valley of the Kings by the priests of the 21st dynasty fearing desecration and tomb robberies.

The cache was discovered in the 1870s by the Razzul brothers and, in 1881, all 40 mummies were moved to Cairo. However, Hatshepsut’s remains appeared to be missing and it was feared the mummy was lost, having been moved by her stepson Thutmose III, who – on succession – tried to destroy every trace of her reign.

However, in 1903, a British archaeologist, Howard Carter, excavated what became known as tomb KV60 and discovered two mummies – one in a coffin inscribed for a royal nurse, the other stretched out on the floor.

In June, Dr Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, held a news conference in Cairo to announce that this second mummy was that of the lost queen, pointing to the tooth as evidence.

The preliminary DNA evidence – to be included in a Discovery Channel documentary being broadcast tomorrow – suggests that the mummy is indeed the great queen Hatshepsut.

The team is now planning to carry out more tests on the 40 remaining royal mummies, including that of Tutankhamun, in order to resolve the many questions surrounding the genealogy of the 18th and 19th dynasties.

Further DNA testing is expected to help resolve such mysteries as the identity of the mummy of Tuthmosis I: Is it really the mummy of the mighty warrior-king of the 18th dynasty or just the remains of a nobleman? And were the two foetuses found in Tutankhamun’s tomb really the children of the young pharaoh?

Aeron Haworth | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/news/display/index.htm?id=120262

Further reports about: 18th Cairo dynasty mummies pharaoh tomb

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Discovery of a Key Regulatory Gene in Cardiac Valve Formation
24.05.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Carcinogenic soot particles from GDI engines
24.05.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>