Thursday, July 05, 2007

Egypt to use DNA tests to identify pharaoh Tuthmosis

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt will run DNA tests on an unidentified mummy to determine whether it is the pharaoh Tuthmosis I, who ruled over a period of military expansion and extensive construction, state news agency MENA said on Tuesday.
Egypt's chief archaeologist Zahi Hawass said the findings would be compared with DNA from mummies of known members of Tuthmosis's family, including Queen Hatshepsut, whose mummy was identified last week, and Kings Tuthmosis II and III, according to MENA.
Hawass said on Wednesday that he had recently concluded that a mummy once assumed to be that of Tuthmosis I was not in fact his, but belonged to a much younger man who died from an arrow wound.
According to MENA, Hawass said the conclusion had prompted a new search for Tuthmosis's mummy.
Tuthmosis, who took the throne somewhere around 1506 BC, led a series of successful military expeditions, expanding Egypt's territory into Nubia and the Levant.
After his death, he was succeeded by Tuthmosis II, his son from a minor wife, who chose to marry his royal half-sister, the famous Queen Hatshepsut, to cement his claim to the throne.

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