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Where the Great Akhenaten Lies | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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At a press conference for international media figures held by the Supreme Council of Antiquities last Wednesday at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, I announced that important [archeological] discoveries had been made that shed more light on the dynasty of the golden pharaoh Tutankhamen. These discoveries marked the beginning of a new chapter in using modern techniques and advanced technology in the field of archeological discoveries.

For many years, Egyptian mummies remained silent, disclosing only a few of their secrets until modern science came and presented to us a new key to the secrets of the mummies, particularly those belonging to the same dynasty. These methods are represented in the deoxyribonucleic acid technique, known as DNA testing, and the CT-Scan. At long last, after a full comprehensive 18-month study of the mummy of King Tutankhamen that is preserved in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, and of other mummies believed to be from the same dynasty, we have set up a DNA laboratory at the basement of the Egyptian Museum and another at Cairo University’s Faculty of Medicine where two teams of distinguished scientists worked. Each team worked separately in its own laboratory away from the other, and both were assisted by German scientists who specialize in studying DNA.

At the press conference, I announced that the mummy in tomb KV55 is King Akhenaten who bewildered scientists and researchers either in their search for his mummy or in studying the conditions of his time. Akhenaten was the first to call for monotheism and sought to change the multiple religions in ancient Egypt. We also confirmed that Akhenaten was the father of King Tutankhamen and this confirmation came after earlier attempts that indicated that in KV55 was most probably the mummy of Akhenaten. But this contradicted studies that indicated that the mummy is of a 25-year old male, which made us think that it could in fact be the mummy of a king that we do not know much about i.e. Smenkhkare who has also baffled scientists. Was he the brother of Tutankhamen? Or was he actually the beautiful queen who perhaps was the co-regent of King Tut in his 17th year of rule and changed her name to Smenkhkare?

Therefore the problem lied in the assumption that the mummy was of a 25-year old male, whilst the studies we carried out with scientists using CT-Scanners showed that KV55 is the mummy of a 60-year old male. Moreover, the DNA showed that he is the son of King Amenhoteb III, and as we mentioned earlier, the father of King Tutankhamen. This discovery has revived historical facts and closed a gap that has been open since the discovery of the mummies of known or unknown kings.

The other significant discovery is that the study emphasized that KV55 belongs to a normal male who did not suffer any deformities and his body showed no signs of feminine traits. Some believed that King Akhenaten might have had feminine traits based on the statues and drawings that depicted him in this way. This was represented in his flabby abdomen and thighs and his feminine chest. It is our duty now to explain such artistic characteristics during Akhenaten’s reign and we can find the answer in the Great Hymn to Aten, who was worshipped by Akhenaten, and whose power is depicted in an image that shows the disk of the sun with rays that end in human hands. The Great Hymn to Aten says “you are male and female…”

We now know where the monotheistic King Akhenaten lies.