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KV 21 mummies and DNA tests
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:11 am    Post subject: KV 21 mummies and DNA tests Reply with quote

I was just watching a documentary and they claimed that KV 21A and KV 21B share mitochondrial DNA with the 2 babies from King Tut's tomb.

They shied away from making any definitive identifications citing some problems with the DNA sequencing. But the results seem to suggest that the two women from KV21 are Amarna women directly related in the female line to the daughters of Tut, and hence to the mother of these children.

The age at death of the two women seems to have been ca 20 and ca 40, leaving the door open to these ladies being Ankhesenamun and Nefertiti herself.
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Sothis
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was it the same show you wrote about in the other forum about Ramses III?
Probably it was.
That`s not fair, teasing us with titbits and holding back the rest.
When they say they`ve had problems with sequencing I hope this doesn`t mean that here will never be a proper report Sad
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW I remember having come across the rumour that the mtDNA testing was done early and that the two KV21 mummies were only included in the study because they shared their mtDNA with the babies`.
If this is true this bit of info would be quite old.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was another documentary. It again featured Hawass. It is called Nefertiti: Mummy Queen Mystery and was shown on the Science Channel.

I almost laughed out loud when he first trotted out mummy KV35 Younger Lady and started the program mentioning that this was the mother of Tut and that they were wondering if this may have been Nefertiti herself. The life of Nefertiti was discussed, and how (relatively) little they know of her.

They mention the idea that Nefertiti was related to Aye, and hence a niece of Queen Tiye. The KV21 mummies are in a really sad state.

They show CT scans being done of the KV 21 mummies. They mention that the ultimate fate may include Nefertiti becoming coregent. The talking heads include Aiden Dodson and Barry Kemp. There are some nice shots from Amarna (includinh scenes from the tomb and a reconstruction of the site).

There are a couple of cases where the voice over is claiming that there are "discoveries" being made. One includes an image of the graffiti in the theban tomb mentioning Pharaoh Neferneferuaten. This text has been known quite a while. In the other had it was nice to see it in situ.

The claim made is that the m-DNA shows that both KV21 A and B and the older foetus from KV62 show a match in m-DNA.

They are actually very careful in the conclusions drawn. They mention that the two mummies are related and that only the elder woman of the two could be a candidate for identification as Nefertiti. The elder woman was about 40 years old.

Another thread they kept coming back to was an analysis of the images of Nefertiti. They included the face underneath the Berlin bust (speculating it may have shown the queen with wrinkles?) and several other heads depicting the Queen. Taking the common features between all the heads they create a computer generated image of what they think she may have looked like in real life. Not sure how scientific it is Very Happy But fun to watch.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

would these documentaries be on youtube anneke? i'd be interested in them, specially if hawass' theories are scientifically analysed.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot find much online about them. The documentaries were released in 2011. They are recent.

Considering how the other documentaries soon found their way onto the internet, I would not be surprised to see these show up soon.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting stuff but probably to be taken with a load of salt.

Why don`t they wait til they are more convinced and then make a show?

Anneke, did they say that the smaller foetus, mtDNA does not match the women`s or did they just keep silent about it?

But then it might not mean much because in the big Tut show they stated only the bigger foetus to be Tut`s daughter whereas according to thedata in the paper both babies can possibly be his daughters.

They really are not very accurate on these shows.
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Sothis
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About the age: Until now it was claimed that both KV21 mummies have an age range of 25 to 40.
Was there any explanation as to how they singled one out to be older than the other? And the age of the other one?
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sothis wrote:

Anneke, did they say that the smaller foetus, mtDNA does not match the women`s or did they just keep silent about it?

They did not mention anything specifically about the smaller foetus. The implication though from earlier comments was that the DNA sequencing was not successful (enough?) to make a statement about the smaller baby.

Sothis wrote:
They really are not very accurate on these shows.


I was actually paying some attention to what was being said by whom and the scientists and Hawass were fairly careful in their statements. It was the person doing the voice over who made some cringe worthy remarks I think. That may be the editing from the non-specialists.

I always think back to the comments by Kent Weeks about how the editors of those shows have a lot of influence over the content. I remember something about him not being happy about the editing of the info in one show he collaborated on.

The people from the networks are driven by the need to be spectacular, somewhat over the top, and are apparently hindered by a lack of real knowledge. They are just trying to make money and hope someone will buy their DVD I think Very Happy

But the show did bring up some interesting points.

The age of the women from KV 21 was said to be determined bby results from the CT scan. I agree with you that this is somewhat puzzling since I thought they were scanned before the paper about the DNA tests came out. There they are said to both be 20-40-ish (or something like that)

I don't know if you remember the images, but one of the mummies still has the lower part of her skull. That one is said to be the older of the two. Given the sad state of the remains I wonder how that affects the accuracy of the age estimates. They were very careful in stating that the age estimaes ruled out one of the mummies as being too young to be Nefertiti, but that the other could not be eliminated. They did not try to press for any conclusion that this was actually the remains of the queen. They actually mentioned that given any remains thought to be Nefertiti, they could now use this m-DNA test to eliminate any candidates that did not have the required DNA profile. They seemed to leave the door open to the possibility that the mummy of Nefertiti is still out there to be found.

As an aside: I think that the mummies must have been in pretty good shape as recent as the early 1800s. The theban mapping project mentions:
It has been suggested that the tomb was a queen's burial. Two female mummies were found, with their left arm crossed on their chest, a pose only used for queens. Vandals entered the tomb after its discovery in 1817, broke up the mummies, hauled them up to the first corridor B, and shattered some large white pots.

Water damaged the mummies even further as was discovered when the tomb was reopened in 1989.

Sad to think we may have had much more to work with if the mummies had been taken from the tomb in 1817 and stored more safely.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
They actually mentioned that given any remains thought to be Nefertiti, they could now use this m-DNA test to eliminate any candidates that did not have the required DNA profile.


i find this a bit iffy. the natural assumption is ankhesenamun would be the mother of any of tut's babies, as she is the only known spouse. but that doesn't mean she was the only one.

from what i understand, they could not complete profiles for either kv21 mummy or the younger foetus. they could only suggest that tut was the babies father, and that the mummy without a head was the mother.
they also suggested both kv21 mummies were from the 18th dynasty royal line, as they could sequence part of the DNA, which they seemed to share with amenhotep III. whether the DNA showed they received these genes via amenhotep III or the genes are in common with descent from say thutmose III is not clear?

i don't understand why they left any mummies where they found them, specially if it was thought they were royal.

in 1817, belzoni found the mummies: " we found two mummies on the ground quite naked, without cloth or case. females, and their hair pretty long, and well preserved, though it was easily separated down from the head by tugging it a little".
water absent when burton wrote of it in the 1830's. i could have swor carter inspected the tomb at some point, but i cannot find any evidence of it!
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried to watch the show online but although the title did come up upon search I could not select it. I was asked to select a title from the boxes but it wasn`t there.
Does this mean I have to wait until the show is scheduled for paid view?

Or has anyone found it elsewhere (youtube)?
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's been pretty much established that these ladies are members of the Amenhotep III/Akhenaten family and probably queens. Unfortunately that doesn't help as much as one would think as Tiye is the ONLY queen of this period who has been identified. Her daughters; Sitamun, Isis and Henuttaneb (all 'King's Wives' of their father) and her granddaughters; Meritaten and Ankhesenamun (queens of Smenkhara and Tutankhamun) are all among the missing. As for that matter are Kiya and Nefertiti.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's also possible one could be ay's wife tey. nothing is known of her origins, and i guess she could belong to the same akhmim family as tiye.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kylejustin wrote:
it's also possible one could be ay's wife tey. nothing is known of her origins, and i guess she could belong to the same akhmim family as tiye.


I wondered about that, but Tey seems to have lived through her husband's reign. She was of the generation that was a bit older than Nefertiti (being her nurse/tutor).
I think that would have to mean her age at the end of Aye's reign would have been:
at least 12 years before Akhenaten
+ 17 years during Akhenaten
+ 10 years during Tutankhamen
+ 4 years during Aye

So that's a minimum of 43 or so years of age, and maybe older?
I guess with the elder of the two being "in her forties", that may just be possible?
But does Tey as a female member (genetically) of the Akhmim family not ask a bit much? I think it would be rather interesting, but isn't that assuming Tey was actually blood related to Aye, and mmore importantly to Nefertiti?
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well there is no evidence linking nefertiti as ay's daughter. the similarity of yuya's and ay's titles is the only shaky connection. and i should think tey would be more likely to have a link with tiye's family than ay.

it is interesting that tutankhamun's babies have mitochondrial DNA in common with thuya. this would imply nefertiti's mother not her father being a child of yuya and thuya. this is assuming the babies are ankhesenamun's. maybe because anen's titles were more religious than political, ay could have inherited them by right of his wife, assuming she could have been nefertiti's mother, and a daughter of yuya and thuya. and assuming he inherited them because nefertiti became queen?

do we know roughly when yuya and thuya were buried? or if maybe nefertiti could have been intended for prince thutmose?

i think it interesting that ay is from akhmim, and that amenhotep III and yuya have DNA in common. i should think it is possible tey would be a member of the family.

i also read on dylan bickerstaffe's website that they found hatshepsut and her wet nurse sitre-in together, so when they profiled the kv21 mummies, they were hoping for nefertiti and her nurse! this would imply that the authorities at one stage, believed one of the mummies to have been tey.
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