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

M. E. Habicht, A. S. Bouwman, F. J. Rühli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


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). Am J Phys Anthropol 159:S216-S231, 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S216-S231
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • aDNA
  • Akhenaton
  • Amenhotep II
  • Amenhotep III
  • ancient
  • Ay
  • CT-scan
  • DB 320
  • identification
  • KV 21
  • KV 35
  • KV 55
  • KV 62
  • methods
  • molecular genetics
  • mummy
  • Nefertiti
  • pharaoh
  • skeleton
  • Thutmosis I-III
  • Thutmosis IV
  • Thuya
  • Tije
  • Tutankhamun
  • X-ray
  • Yuya
  • Egyptology
  • Ancient Egypt
  • New Kingdom
  • meta-analyses
  • Smenkhkare
  • Valley of the Kings


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