Two Egyptian mummies, discovered a century ago, were brothers by the mother

In 1907, in an ancient tomb near the village Rifah was discovered two mummies. Until now, scientists argued, was the mummified male siblings, and the results of a new study show that is closer to the truth turned out to be supporters of this version of the men had different fathers but the same mother

The sarcophagi of mummies brothers. Photo: Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester.

One of the buried people lived to about 40 years old and the other about 60. It is assumed that both of them were noble people. At the beginning of the last century, examining the inscriptions in the tomb, the scientists came to the conclusion that as a mother of both men was referred to one woman by the name of khnum-AA. After that, the majority of researchers agreed that the inscriptions should believe, and the mummy still informally called “two brothers”.

However, some scientists thought that two of the mummies enough like each other to be brothers. In particular, one of the earlier studies showed that their skeletons differ from each other much more than is typical for such close relatives. After this, some experts have suggested that in the interpretation of ancient Egyptian texts could be a typographical error, and others — that one of the “brothers” was adopted. However, all these versions have also raised many questions.

In search of an answer to the question was whether the relationship in two ancient Egyptian group of scientists from the UK, representing the University of Manchester using modern technologies has studied the DNA of the mummies, which samples the scientists took from their teeth. In particular, the experts were interested in the genes transmitted solely “female” (referring to mitochondrial DNA) or “male” line.

The study showed that the two brothers had different fathers, but one mother — perhaps this explains the fact that scientists found in the texts mentioned only her name.

The scientific work of specialists approved for publication by the Journal of Archaeological Science.

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