News24

Who's King Tut's daddy?

2009-06-01 22:34

Cairo - Egyptian researchers are using DNA tests to discover the lineage of pharaoh king Tutankhamen, whose ancestry remains a mystery to Egyptologists, antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said on Monday.

The young king, whose mummy was found in a gold and turquoise sarcophagus by English archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922, ruled Egypt between 1333 and 1324 BC.
His ancestry has been as much a source of speculation as his abrupt end.

"Until now, we don't know who his father was. Was it Akhenaten or Amenhotep III," Hawass told reporters at a press conference.

The antiquities chief said the testing would be done with help from experts at Cairo University's faculty of medicine and would also include X-raying and the reconstruction of possible relatives' features.

The testing will mostly be done in the Valley of the Kings in Upper Egypt, where pharaonic royalty was mummified, Hawass said.

Egypt's antiquities council opposed previous efforts to test the mummies because they were undertaken by "foreigners" and the tests were to be done in laboratories "not specialising in mummies", he said.

The result will be announced in February, he said.