Last month scientists made some fascinating DNA and genealogy related discoveries about Egypt's most famous pharaoh Tutankhamon. The pharao notorious for his 'curse', which touched everyone coming near him, now seems to have been plagued himself.
Scientists have discovered that the young king, who died at the age of 19 about 1324 B.C, was the product of an incestuous relationship that may have led him to suffer from a weak health which contributed to his early death. This contrary to the many theories which held that the King could have been murdered by rivals, beaten down by an animal or have died in an accident.
The team of scientists used the latest DNA testing techniques to draw the most likely family tree for Tutankhamun yet. The tests, involving 16 mummies, of which the identity of only three was certain, have identified King Tut’s father and mother, who appear to be siblings, as well as the mummies of his grandmother and other relatives.
Over a two-year period, the mummies were scanned to determine whether they were related, or had genetic disorders or infectious diseases. The discovering revelealed the boy king was a sickly youth with a club foot who probably died of complications related to malaria, which in turn had to do with his poor health resulting from his parents being related.
The finding also helps to explain the intriguing discovery of more than 130 walking sticks in Tutankhamun’s tomb. His last resting place was excavated by Howard Carter in 1922.
Using genetic fingerprinting and blood group tests, the study also confirms that Tutankhamun was the son of Akhenaten, the pharaoh who tried to reform Egyptian religion and culture during his rule from 1351 to 1334BC.
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