Straight out of the grave

Secrets of ancient Egypt

Context

  • The 90 Mummies dug from the Abusir el-Malek archaeological site, located about 115 km south of Cairo, and is catching the eyes of many.
  • The DNA was extracted from the teeth and bones of mummies from a burial ground associated with the god Osiris.
  • The oldest were from about 1,388 BC during the New Kingdom, while the most recent were from about 426 AD, centuries after Egypt had become a Roman Empire province.

 

Findings

  • Investigation reveals the fact that the ancient Egyptians had a minimal genetic kinship with sub-Saharan populations. On the contrary ancient Ethiopia was known to have had significant interactions with Egypt.
  • The genes identify to have a close resemblance with the people of ancient Near East, Iraq and Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
  • As far as the study is concerned, the bodies of the dead (mummies) are from among the middle strata of the society.
  • The discovery raises questions about the descendants, genetic continuity and foreign exchange of genetic make-up of ancient Egyptians.
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