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Archaeology & History

Was Queen Nefertiti King Tutís mother ?

By T.K. Randall
February 14, 2013 · Comment icon 19 comments



Image Credit: Jon Bodsworth
A DNA analysis by French archaeologist Marc Gabolde suggests a new link between Nefertiti and King Tut.
CT scans and genetic analyses revealed as far back as 2005 that Tutankhamun was likely to be the offspring of Akhenaten and his unnamed sister. King Tut's congenital malformations such as a clubbed foot and curved spine further added weight to his incestuous origins. Archaeologist Marc Gabolde however has a different idea - he believes that Tutankhamun's mother might have actually been his father's first cousin, Queen Nefertiti.

"The DNA of the third generation between cousins looks like the DNA between a brother and sister," he said. "I believe that Tutankhamun is the son of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, but that Akhenaten and Nefertiti were cousins."
A genetic investigation by French archaeologist Marc Gabolde is threatening to rewrite the history books on two of ancient Egypt's most iconic figures.


Source: io9.com | Comments (19)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by glorybebe 10 years ago
But the parents of Tutankhamum were brother and sister according to the DNA analysis and such analyses can determine the difference between a cousin and a sibling. cormac Ah! Gotcha!
Comment icon #11 Posted by cormac mac airt 10 years ago
Ah! Gotcha! And just to throw this out there, there have been two possibilities presented for Nefertiti in the original JAMA report. One is KV35 YL and the other, KV35 EL. In neither case do the microsatellites match sufficiently for either lady to be a full sister of Akhenaten. Which means that if either lady really was Nefertiti then she definitely wasn't Tutankhamun's mother. cormac
Comment icon #12 Posted by Everdred 10 years ago
And just to throw this out there, there have been two possibilities presented for Nefertiti in the original JAMA report. One is KV35 YL and the other, KV35 EL. In neither case do the microsatellites match sufficiently for either lady to be a full sister of Akhenaten. Which means that if either lady really was Nefertiti then she definitely wasn't Tutankhamun's mother. cormac What makes you say that? Looks like a perfect match to me. Both KV55 and KV35YL have alleles from their putative parents (KV35EL and Amenhotep III) at every locus.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Atentutankh-pasheri 10 years ago
Err is this new?, I am sure I read about this way back in 1995 or the postulation of it. You could well have been reading about this since 1925 let alone 1995. What has breathed new life into this ancient and contentious nonsense is the DNA testing done in 2010.
Comment icon #14 Posted by cormac mac airt 10 years ago
What makes you say that? Looks like a perfect match to me. Both KV55 and KV35YL have alleles from their putative parents (KV35EL and Amenhotep III) at every locus. Your right. Got a bit ahead of myself with two different trains of thought. The whole "first cousin/full sister" bit threw me off. What I should have said was that if KV35 Elder Lady was Nefertiti, then there is no way she was Tutankhamun's mother*. And there is no extant information from Ancient Egypt on Nefertiti's parentage**, to make her a biological sister of Akhenaten, so Gabolde is attempting to pidgeon-hole her into the gene... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by kmt_sesh 10 years ago
I agree with cormac. It's too bad this discussion has already grown quiet and I regret not having had the time to weigh in until tonight, but Marc Gabolde's conclusions are a bit of a stretch, to say the least. As cormac noted, nothing certain is known of Nefertiti's parentage, so suddenly placing her as a first cousin of Akhenaten seems decidedly odd to me. In the first place there is not much evidence for how cousins came into play in the royal families at any point in dynastic history, aside possibly from some muddled periods when there was royal infighting such as at the end of Dynasty 19 ... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by teetay08 10 years ago
thats just alot of incest
Comment icon #17 Posted by Atentutankh-pasheri 10 years ago
Disturbing actually, and I wonder if any, or how many, AE royalty had a brother who was also their father. It's always possible that some DNA results are not released because they are just too shocking.... Anyway, having six fingers on each hand makes for really fast typing
Comment icon #18 Posted by kmt_sesh 10 years ago
Disturbing actually, and I wonder if any, or how many, AE royalty had a brother who was also their father. It's always possible that some DNA results are not released because they are just too shocking.... Anyway, having six fingers on each hand makes for really fast typing Pity the ancient royals had no typewriters, then. Listen to meó"typewriters." Now I'm dating myself. Let's change that to computer keyboards. But as far as that goes, at least the old-fashioned typewriters didn't require electricity, so the ancient royals with their dozen fingers are screwed on all counts. What DNA results ... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by Atentutankh-pasheri 10 years ago
Pity the ancient royals had no typewriters, then. Listen to meó"typewriters." Now I'm dating myself. Let's change that to computer keyboards. But as far as that goes, at least the old-fashioned typewriters didn't require electricity, so the ancient royals with their dozen fingers are screwed on all counts. What DNA results would be too shocking? Thanks to DNA analysis we know now Tut's parents were a brother and sister, and the "icky" factor doesn't get much worse than that. Besides which, most modern folk love to hear about all of the ickiness ancient people were capable of. Humans have becom... [More]


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