Two fetuses found in the tomb of Tutankhamen may have been twins and were very likely to have been the children of the teenage Pharaoh, according to the anatomist who first studied the mummified remains of the young King in the 1960s.
Robert Connolly, who is working with the Egyptian authorities to analyse the mummified remains of Tutankhamen and the two stillborn children, will discuss the new findings at the Pharmacy and Medicine in Ancient Egypt Conference at The University of Manchester on September 1, 2008.
Mr Connolly says: "The work carried out by Catherine Hellier in Norway and I suggests that the two fetuses in the tomb of Tutankhamen could be twins despite their very different size and thus fit better as a single pregnancy for his young wife. This increases the likelihood of them being Tutankhamen's children.
"I studied one of the mummies, the larger one, back in 1979, determined the blood group data from this baby mummy and compared it with my 1969 blood grouping of Tutankhamen. The results confirmed that this larger fetus could indeed be the daughter of Tutankhamen.
"Now we believe that they are twins and they were both his children. The forthcoming DNA study on them by Dr Zahi Hawass's group in Egypt will contribute another key piece to this question."
Mr Connolly, Senior Lecturer in Physical Anthropology at the University of Liverpool's Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Biology, adds: "It is a very exciting finding which will not only paint a more detailed picture of this famous young King's life and death, it will also tell us more about his lineage."
More than 100 delegates from 10 countries, including the Director of the Cultural Bureau of the Egyptian Embassy in the UK and researchers from Egypt's Conservation of Medicinal Plants project in Sinai and the British Museum, are attending the conference, hosted by the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology at The University of Manchester, in conjunction with the National Research Centre in Cairo, Egypt, and sponsored by The Leverhulme Trust.
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