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Am J Phys Anthropol. 2016 Jan;159(Suppl 61):S216-31. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22909.

Identifications of ancient Egyptian royal mummies from the 18th Dynasty reconsidered.

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Institute for Evolutionary Medicine, University of Zurich, CH, 8057, Switzerland.


For centuries, ancient Egyptian Royal mummies have drawn the attention both of the general public and scientists. Many royal mummies from the New Kingdom have survived. The discoveries of the bodies of these ancient rulers have always sparked much attention, yet not all identifications are clear even nowadays. This study presents a meta-analysis to demonstrate the difficulties in identifying ancient Egyptian royal mummies. Various methods and pitfalls in the identification of the Pharaohs are reassessed since new scientific methods can be used, such as ancient DNA-profiling and CT-scanning. While the ancestors of Tutankhamun have been identified, some identities are still highly controversial (e.g., the mystery of the KV-55 skeleton, recently most likely identified as the genetic father of Tutankhamun). The meta-analysis confirms the suggested identity of some mummies (e.g., Amenhotep III, Thutmosis IV, and Queen Tjye).


Akhenaton; Amenhotep II; Amenhotep III; Ay; CT-scan; DB 320; KV 21; KV 35; KV 55; KV 62; Nefertiti; Thutmosis I-III; Thutmosis IV; Thuya; Tije; Tutankhamun; X-ray; Yuya; aDNA; ancient; identification; methods; molecular genetics; mummy; pharaoh; skeleton

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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