Mystery of King Tut's birth unveiled?
Tutankhamun, the most famous ancient Egyptian pharaoh, was the son of the most famous Egyptian queen Nefertiti. Historians believed that his father was Akhenaten, but the question of his mother was a topic of scientific disputes. Several times genetic studies supported the conclusion that Tutankhamun was born in the marriage between relatives, namely, siblings. Now the earlier findings are being reconsidered.
A French Egyptologist Marc Gabolde from the University of Paul Valery-Montpellier III, based on a new interpretation of previous genetic studies concluded that the mother of Tutankhamun was probably Nefertiti, and not any other of the wives of Akhenaten. Incidentally, a few years ago, scientists argued that the mother of Tutankhamun was a sister and wife of Pharaoh, but not Nefertiti. Nefertiti was not Akhenaten's sister but a cousin.
Under the project aimed at determining the relations between sixteen royal mummies of the New Kingdom that started in 2007, the researchers found that the mother of Tutankhamun was not Nefertiti. It was assumed that the mother of the young Pharaoh could be a mummy of a young woman buried in the tomb under number 35 in the Valley of the Kings. DNA analysis performed later at the Faculty of Medicine of Cairo University and an independent study by experts from Germany led to the same conclusion. Tutankhamun's mother's name is a mystery, but most point to the princess Sitamun, who was Akhenaten's sister.
According to the French Egyptologist, the DNA of the child born in the third generation looks like the DNA of the child born from the union of a brother and a sister. Therefore, Tutankhamun, most likely, was the fruit of the marriage union between Akhenaten and Nefertiti who were more distant relatives. In addition to the amendments to the family tree of Tutankhamun, Marc Gabolde made several other observations of historical nature. In particular, the historian said that the real tomb of Tutankhamen has not been found yet. The tomb where his sarcophagus was once found by Carter could not belong to him, because the Pharaoh died suddenly at the age of nineteen, and a tomb was not ready for him.
During his lecture at Harvard University on the unknown aspects of government, origin of the tomb and the treasures of Tutankhamun, Gabolde also touched upon other details of the Pharaoh's, including a military campaign in Syria in which he probably was not personally involved; his interest in Nubia (the region to the south of Egypt) and inscriptions suggesting that the Pharaoh used to hunt ostriches and make fans out of their feathers.
Nefertiti's fame has been increasing since December of 1912, when German archaeologists discovered a bust of the queen that came out of the workshop of the sculptor Thutmose. This acknowledged masterpiece of world art is stored in the collection of the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, and Egyptologists continue to explore the life of the Queen and her husband, Akhenaten. Tutankhamun, in contrast to his royal parents, would not have left a trace in history if it was not for art. Of all known tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, his sarcophagus is the best preserved.
The image of the couple of Akhenaten and Nefertiti was the first image of a "Holy Family" in the Egyptian art. Intimate scenes from the life of the royal family presented in relief, according to historians, are purely ceremonial, and not anecdotal in nature.
The literature about ancient Egypt often mentions that the royal couple Akhenaten and Nefertiti had no sons, and that Nefertiti gave birth to six daughters. The first three - Merytaten, Meketaten, and Ankhesenpaaten - were born in Thebes before the family moved to the city of the sun. The fourth, Neferneferuaten, was born in Ahetatona between the sixth and ninth years of the family's residence in this city. The last two, Neferneferure and Setepenre, were born between ninth and twelfth years of residency. Nearly all texts that mention the couple's children state that six princesses were daughters of Nefertiti, but the name of their father is not mentioned. Some illustrations show a little princess with a pronounced dolichocephalic - an unusual form of an elongated skull. The birth of a son is not mentioned.
The famous French Egyptologist Christian Jacq wrote that some Egyptologists were convinced that Tutankhamun was the son of Akhenaten and Nefertiti or one of the minor wives, but there is no sufficient evidence to support it. He added that this fact could have been considered not worthy of mention in official inscriptions because, for example, Aton wanted to exalt the feminine origin represented by the queen and her female offspring.