Recent investigations 2010:
In February 2010 the results of a study conducted on the DNA of the family of Tutankhamun were revealed. This project was called “Tutankhamun family project”, and it lasted for two years from Sept 2007 till Oct. 2009. The study was conducted through the Egyptian Mummy Project (EMP) headed by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and a team composed of Egyptian scientists from the National Research Center, members from the Faculty of Medicine at Cairo University, and two German DNA specialists.
11 royal mummies of the family of Tutankhamun were studied using radiology and DNA technology. These mummies came from KV 35, 55, 62 and 21A and B. (Only three of these mummies’ identities were certain: Yuya, Thuya and Amenhotep III, in addition to the mummy of Tut).
They concluded that:
- Yuya and Thuya were identified as great-grandparents of Tutankhamun and Amenhotep III
- Amenhotep III and KV 35 Elder Lady (Ty) as his grandparents
- KV 55 male (Akhenaten) and KV 35 Younger Lady are his sibling parents.
- Amenhotep III could be clearly identified as father of KV 55 male (Akhenaten) and the testing of Amenhotep III as father of Tutankhamun was negative.
SO the results showed that the mummy of KV 55 is the son of Amenhotep III and father of Tutankhamun leading to the assumption that KV 55 male can be certainly identified as Akhenaten. Also KV 35 Elder Lady was identified as daughter of Yuya and Thuya indicating that she could be queen Ty.
To sum up:
1.Concerning his Parentage:
Recent evidence, however, has indicated that he was in fact born in Tell el-Amarna. It had been revealed that Tutankhamun’s father was the “heretic” king, Akhenaten, whose body is now almost certainly identified with the mummy from KV 55 in the Valley of the Kings. His mother, who still cannot be identified by name, is the “Younger Lady” buried in the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV 35). The mummy of the “Elder Lady” from the same tomb can now be conclusively identified as Tutankhamun’s grandmother, Queen Ty.
The project is not yet able to identify Tutankhamun’s mother by name, although the DNA studies also show that she was the daughter of Amenhotep III and Ty and thus Akhenaten’s full sister. Thus Tutankhamun’s only grandparents, on both his paternal and maternal sides, were Amenhotep III and Ty.
2.Concerning his Wife:
Two stillborn foetuses were found mummified and hidden away in a chamber of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Preliminary DNA analysis supports the Egyptological belief that these were children of the young king’s. This analysis has also suggested a mummy known as KV21A, a royal female whose identity was previously completely unknown, as the most likely mother of these children and thus as Tutankhamun’s wife. As Tutankhamun’s only known consort was Ankhsenamun, the daughter of Akhenaten and his chief queen Nefertiti, further study of this mummy should help to illuminate further the complex relationships within this family.
3.Concerning his Death:
New light was shed on the cause of death for Tutankhamun with the discovery of DNA from the parasite that causes malaria ; it is likely that the young king died from complications resulting from a severe form of this disease.
Medicinal foodstuffs (i.e., drugs to fight fever and pain) found within the tomb support the team’s contention that the young king suffered from a severe malarial infection. The CT scan also revealed that the king had a lame foot, caused by avascular bone necrosis (a disease known as Kohler disease, affecting the blood supply of the bone leading to degeneration of the bone) . This conclusion is supported Egyptologically by the presence of over one hundred walking sticks in the tomb and by images of the king performing activities such as hunting while seated.
The project believes that Tutankhamun’s death was most likely a result of the malaria coupled with his generally weak constitution. The CT scan of the pharaoh earlier confirmed the presence of an unhealed break in the king’s left thigh bone; the team speculates that the king’s weakened state may have led to a fall, or that a fall weakened his already fragile physical condition.
This is a figure showing the family tree of Tutankhamun as concluded by the “Tutankhamun Family Project”, published in Feb 2010.