‘Two Brothers’ mummy mystery solved with DNA

'Two Brothers' mummy mystery solved with DNA
'Two Brothers' mummy mystery solved with DNA

Scientists at the Manchester Museum have found out that the Two Brother’s mummies at the Museum have different fathers.

Like a next-level version of Jeremy Kyle, DNA was extracted from the teeth, and analysis showed that both Nakht-Ankh and Khnum-Nakht have a maternal relationship. The Y chromosome sequences were less complete but showed variations between the two mummies, indicating that Nakht-Ankh and Khnum-Nakht had different fathers, and were thus very likely to have been half-brothers.

The Two Brothers, Khnum-nakht and Nakht-ankh, the Museum’s oldest mummies and amongst the best-known human remains in its Egyptology collection.

The mystery dates as far back as the early 20th century when Egyptologists noticed the differences between the two tombs of the alleged brothers.

Dr Konstantina Drosou, of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Manchester who conducted the DNA sequencing, said: “It was a long and exhausting journey to the results but we are finally here. I am very grateful we were able to add a small but very important piece to the big history puzzle and I am sure the brothers would be very proud of us. These moments are what make us believe in ancient DNA. ”

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Jose S Vanhorne
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