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DNA Testing – Unlocking The Past


DNA testing has been instrumental in unlocking some of the secrets that might have been lost to history forever. Egyptian authorities in Cairo have identified a mummy found over a hundred years ago. Due to advances in DNA analysis and testing it is now possible to trace unidentified remains that could be of significant historical interest. The mummy in question was identified by using DNA testing methods  on an ancient tooth belonging to the pharaoh Queen Hatshepsut.

DNA Testing Unveil Mummy

The Egyptian mummies have always been shrouded in mystery and hold great fascination for historians and archaeologists. The Egyptian race was one of the most advanced and inspired tales of romance and intrigue. Using DNA testing it’s been possible to find out more about the remains discovered in the Valley of the Kings burial ground in 1903. The Egyptian Museum used DNA testing and is 100% sure that these remains are that of the Queen. The Egyptians used embalming techniques, and the scientists were able to conduct DNA tests on the tooth which then was matched to gap in the jaw and also on the Queen’s embalmed organs found in a relic box.

DNA Testing – Life and Death

Women in Egypt were recognised for their power. Cleopatra herself has inspired films and books mythologizing her life. It is thought though that Queen Hatshepsut was more powerful even than Cleopatra, she ruled over Egypt more than 3,000 years ago. The Queen it was said wore a fake beard to disguise herself off as a pharaoh and even dressed herself like a man. DNA testing also reveals more about the way she died as well as who she was when she was alive. It’s thought she died in her fifties through a variety of causes, diabetes, liver cancer and obesity.

Testing Mummy DNA

Egyptian mummies are most likely some of the best preserved ancient remains thanks to their unique embalming techniques. But extracting the DNA is a very delicate process. DNA testing on living humans can be completed in as little as one day, but on mummies it can takes months of painstaking work.

DNA Testing on Bones

DNA tests were conducted on bones from the remains to confirm the mummy’s relationship to Nefreteri who was Hatshepsut’s grandmother. Extracting Mummy DNA is difficult enough but molecular biologists have now been able to recover the DNA from hundreds of Egyptian mummies. It’s important for the tissue samples to not become contaminated – DNA testing is difficult but can be invaluable in confirming the identity and relationships of historical figures from the past.

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