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Egypt to DNA test boy king's 'children'

Egypt is to carry out DNA tests on the mummified mum·mi·fy  
v. mum·mi·fied, mum·mi·fy·ing, mum·mi·fies

v.tr.
1. To make into a mummy by embalming and drying.

2. To cause to shrivel and dry up.

v.intr.
 remains of two foetuses found in the tomb of Tutankhamun to determine if they were the children of the boy king, antiquities authorities said on Thursday.

The bodies of the two still-born children were found in 1922 in the tomb of Tutankhamun in the ancient Nile city of Luxor by British explorer Howard Carter and have since been stored at the University of Cairo.

The DNA tests will determine whether the foetuses were the offspring of Tutankhamun and his wife Ankhesenpamon, daughter of Nefertiti, who was renowned as one of history's great beauties, Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said.

"It is thought that the tiny bodies may be those of the young king's stillborn stillborn /still·born/ (-born) born dead.

still·born
adj.
Dead at birth.


stillborn,
n an infant who is born dead.


stillborn

born dead.
 children," said a statement from Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities The Supreme Council of Antiquities (commonly abbreviated SCA) is part of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture and is responsible for the conservation, protection and regulation of all antiquities and archaeological excavations in Egypt. .

"The study aims at identifying the lineage and the family of king Tutankhamun, particularly his parents. The DNA test and the CT scan CT scan: see CAT scan.


See CAT scan.
 may also help to identify the foetuses' mother," Hawass said.

"The results of these studies will also help in identifying the mummy of queen Nefertiti."

All royal mummies will be CT scanned for identification, the statement said, adding that samples from several unknown female mummies found at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo have been taken for DNA testing DNA testing
Analysis of DNA (the genetic component of cells) in order to determine changes in genes that may indicate a specific disorder.

Mentioned in: Acoustic Neuroma, Retinoblastoma, Von Willebrand Disease
.

"All of the results will be compared with each other, along with those of the mummy of the boy king Tutankhamun, which was CT scanned in 2005," it said.

Last year, the true face of ancient Egypt's boy king, who was proclaimed pharaoh at the age of just nine, was revealed to the public for the first time since he died more than 3,000 years ago.

The pharaoh's mummy was moved in November from its ornate sarcophagus sarcophagus (särkŏf`əgəs) [Gr.,=flesh-eater], name given by the Greeks to a special marble found in Asia Minor, near the territory of ancient Troy, and used in caskets.  in the tomb, where its 1922 discovery in Luxor's Valley of the Kings caused an international sensation, to a climate-controlled case where experts say it will be better preserved.

Nefertiti was the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaton, remembered for having converted his kingdom to monotheism monotheism (mŏn`əthēĭzəm) [Gr.,=belief in one God], in religion, a belief in one personal god. In practice, monotheistic religion tends to stress the existence of one personal god that unifies the universe.  with the worship of one sun god, Aton. Her mummy has never been identified.
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Author:AFP
Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:Aug 7, 2008
Words:350
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