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KING TUT'S FAMILY TREE

The road to understanding the Tut tree (18th Dynasty) begins with filling out his parents' branches. Based on historical records and previous digs, Dr. Hawass determined King Tut's father could be one of three great Egyptian pharaohs: the successful and popularsecond ninth king of the 18th Dynasty Amenhotep III; the radical and controversial Akhenaton aka 'The Heretic King', who moved Egypt into the age of monotheism, or the little-known Smenkhare who reigned just prior to Tutankhamun's rule. When Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon discovered King Tut's tomb, who could have forseen that almost a century later KV62 would be the site for the cutting edge of forensic Egyptology? To effectively solve the mystery of Tut's parentage, the team needs to test Tut's DNA and compare this to his possible family members. Carefully, to avoid contamination, some bone marrow is extracted from the mummified leg. This first-ever DNA extraction from Tut's mummy sets into motion a series of cross-reference studies to identify the Boy King's family. Specimens now abound for testing, but the expert team assembled at Discovery Channel's DNA lab at the Cairo Museum faces challenge upon challenge in connecting the forensic dots. In order to test the ancient DNA, Dr. Carsten M. Pusch and Professor Albert Zink work with Dr. Yehia Zakaria Gad of the Department of Medical Molecular Genetics at Cairo's National Research Center to perform, for the first time, microsatellite-based DNAfingerprinting on familial Egyptian mummies. There is triumph in the lab but that is only the start of the Tut family odyssey. With successful DNA sequencing of Tut's father (Akhenaten, for those not following the news), Hawass is able to pursue leads that will eventually point toconfirming the mummy of King Tut's mother as well as identifying his great-grandparents Yuya and Thuya.

Tutankhamun died of...
Part two of 'King Tut Unwrapped' uses never-before-examined evidence from Tut's mummy to conclude what caused his death and how that information sheds new light on his reign as a military, religious and political leader. Results from the DNA research and CT-scans reveal that the young pharoah suffered from various maladies and diseases, a combination of which eventually caused his demise. Of course, no Ancient Egypt documentary would be complete without Egyptology superstar Dr. Zahi Hawass playing a leading role. From the pristine interiors and precision work of the DNA lab to dusty, unpredictable dig sites in the field, Dr. Hawass takes the viewer on an intense, deeply personal journey for the truth. "Discovery is honoured once again to work with Dr. Zahi Hawass. Dr. Hawass' trailblazing leadership has successfully fused traditional, methodical archeology with cutting-edge, advanced forensics. This is a new chapter in Egyptology firmly establishing Cairo as a center for innovation and scholarship," said Clark Bunting. I wonder, did the Curse of the Mummy affect the high-tech equipment again? ;)

Early life
Little is known of Tutankhamen's childhood; even the identity of his parents remains a mystery. Historian believe Tutankhamen was the son of either Amenophis III or Akhenaten.

His mother was probably one of the king's many wives, most likely Kiya, a wife of Akhenaten who was often referred to as the "Greatly Beloved Wife." Tutankhamen was only a child when he became king, for although he reigned eight full years, examination of his body has shown that he was little more than eighteen years old at the time of his death. He may have owed his rise to king to his marriage to his half sister originally named Ankhensepaaton the third daughter of the fourteenth century Egyptian rulers, Ikhnaton and Nefertiti. Who were brother and sister. "He was not a very strong pharaoh. He was not riding the chariots," "Picture instead a frail, weak boy who had a bit of a club foot and who needed a cane to walk." Regarding the revelation that King Tut's mother and father were brother and sister, Inbreeding is not an advantage for biological or genetic fitness. Normally the health and immune system are reduced and malformations increase.

Family of Tut
a mummy known until now as KV55 is the "heretic king" Akhenaten—and that he was King Tut's father. Furthermore, the mummy known as KV35 was King Tut's grandfather, the pharaoh Amenhotep III, Preliminary DNA evidence also indicates that two stillborn fetuses entombed with King Tut when he died were daughters whom he likely fathered with his chief queen Ankhensenamun. Also, a mummy previously known as the Elder Lady is Queen Tiye, King Tut's grandmother and wife of Amenhotep III. King Tut's mother is a mummy researchers had been calling the Younger Lady. DNA studies show that she was the daughter of Amenhotep III and Tiye and thus was the full sister of her husband, Akhenaten. Some Egyptologists have speculated that King Tut's mother was Akhenaten's chief wife, Queen Nefertiti But the new findings seem to challenge this idea, because historical records do not indicate that Nefertiti and Akhenaten were related. Instead, the sister with whom Akenhaten fathered King Tut may have been a minor wife or concubine, which would not have been unusual. said Willeke Wendrich, a UCLA Egyptologist "Egyptian pharaohs had multiple wives, and often multiple sons who would potentially compete for the throne after the death of their father Inbreeding would also not have been considered unusual among Egyptian royalty of the time.

King Tut Plagued by Malaria, Required Cane
The team's examination of King Tut's body also revealed previously unknown deformations in the king's left foot, caused by the necrosis, or death, of bone tissue. "Necrosis is always bad, because it means you have dying organic matter inside your body," study team member Pusch told National Geographic News.

The affliction would have been painful and forced King Tut to walk with a cane—many of which were found in his tomb—but it would not have been life threatening. Malaria, however, would have been a serious danger. The scientists found DNA from the mosquito-borne parasite that causes malaria in the young pharaoh's body—the oldest known genetic proof of the disease. The team found more than one strain of malaria parasite, indicating that King Tut caught multiple malarial infections during his life. The strains belong to the parasite responsible for malaria tropica, the most virulent and deadly form of the disease. The malaria would have weakened King Tut's immune system and interfered with the healing of his foot. These factors, combined with the fracture in his left thighbone, which scientists had discovered in 2005, may have ultimately been what killed the young king, the authors write. The couple had no children. Tutankhamen had originally been named Tutankhaten, meaning "gracious life is Aton," but both he and Ankhnesamun (originally Ankhnespaten) dropped from their names all references to the sun god Aten and the cult (a religious following) that was promoted by Akhenaten. He then became known as Tutankhamen, "gracious life is Amon (an Egyptian god)." And changed his wife’s name to Ankhesenamun . Soon after, the royal couple abandoned Amarna, the city built by Akhenaten for the sole worship of Aten. Tutankhamen apparently left the city very early in his reign, for, with the exception of a few scarabs (Egyptian beetles that were inscribed and buried alongside mummies), no trace of him has been found at Amarna. .The reign of King Tutankhamen The addition to Tutankhamen's label as "Ruler of Southern On" shows that he regarded Thebes as his capital city. There can be little doubt that he made every effort to satisfy the supporters of the god Amun; a stele (statue) erected near the Third Pylon of the temple of Karnak depicts Tutankhamen offering to gods Amun and Mut. The accompanying text tells of the state of decay into which the temples and shrines of the gods had fallen Tutankhamen. Despite the existence of the standard paintings of the pharaoh slaying his foes, it is doubtful that Tutankhamen engaged in any serious military operations. Tutankhamen was a trained archer and in his tomb were found many trophies from his hunts. There is some indication that the actual power behind the throne was an elderly official named Ay, who is depicted on a fragment of gold leaf with Tutankhamen. On another fragment Ay bears the title of vizier, or high government official. He had already posed as a coregent (coruler) before the death of Tutankhamen. Some time during his tenth year of reigning , Egypt was at war with he hittites during this confrontation Tutunkhamun suddenly died and , Ay married his widow.

King Tut had not left a male heir to the throne and the children that he had were stillborn. King Tut died at around eighteen or nineteen years old. Ay, who was a high official in Akhenaten’s court, staked his claim as pharaoh. Ay went on to rule for only 4 years and died shortly after acquiring the throne.

The tomb of Tutankhamen
Tutankhamen is probably the best-known of the pharaohs, owing to the fortunate discovery of his treasure-filled tomb virtually intact. His burial place in the Valley of the Kings had escaped the fate of the tombs of other ancient Egyptian kings. Fortunately, the entrance was hidden from tomb raiders by debris heaped over it during the cutting of the later tomb of the twelfth century B.C.E. King Ramses VI. In 1922 Howard Carter (1873–1939) discovered Tutankhamen's tomb after searching for nearly ten years. Tutankhamen's tomb remains as one of the greatest and most important discoveries in archeology (the study of ancient forms of life). From Carter's discovery, historians were able to piece together the life of King Tutankhamen. The tomb room contained more than five thousand objects, many of which were covered with gold and beautifully carved. The most famous of these objects is probably the lifelike gold mask that covered the face of Tutankhamen's mummy. Carter also uncovered military items, clothing, jewelry, and many statues of Tutankhamen and Egyptian gods. In fact, there were so many items in the tomb that many are still being examined today and have yet to be displayed in museums—nearly eighty years after their discovery.