Thursday, August 7, 2008

Prove it Dr. Hawass

This article is on Dr. Zahi Hawass's continued examination of all the royal mummies with his new DNA lab. Though I imagine getting DNA from these deteriorated mummies will be difficult.

Though the two fetuses were found in king Tutankhamun's tomb that does not necessarily mean they are his. Like much of the boy king's funerary equipment, the fetuses may actually belong to Tut's predecessor king Smenkare.

However, if they do belong to king Tut and his queen and they yield mitochondrial DNA than perhaps they may point to one of the unknown female mummies as queen Ankhesenamun.

Having said all of that one must also remember Dr. Hawass's discovery of the mummy of Hatshepsut which more than a year later he has not had his results independently verified. Dr. Hawass should not make claims that he cannot or does not want to back up.

If he did find the mummy of Egypt's greatest female king than he should be more than proud to prove it otherwise he is wasting his new labs time and misleading the Egyptological community.

1 comment:

Suzie said...

I recently attended a lecture where Dr. Hawass explained in great detail how they have identified Queen Hatshepsut. He used a CT-scan machine to scan both the mummy as well as a canopic jar with Queen Hatshepsut's cartouche on the outside. They could not get the canopic jar open, however were able to see inside it with the CT-scanner. Contained within the canopic jar was not only her liver, but also her intestines. As they were scanning the jar, they noticed a bone chip in the intestine. When they looked closer, it appeared to be a part of a tooth - missing one root. So they examined the mummy again under the CT-scanner and found that the mummy was missing a tooth. Upon closer inspection they found that the mummy had a root still in place from the missing tooth. They then measured both the space in the mouth where the tooth was missing, as well as the tooth itself (measured it with the computer). And it was a match.

I'm sure you will be able to find more detail on Dr. Hawass' website, accompanied by many photos as well.

I do recommend going to his lecture if he passes through your area. He is very passionate about his work, and therefore very interesting to listen to. He is also very gracious and kind. At least he was toward us when we were there.