King Tut’s grandmother is kind of cute
I finally got around to reading National Geographic’s feature on the “family secrets” of King Tut. The famous Egyptian king has been popping up a lot lately due to a bunch of new exhibits (took my mom to the AGO’s earlier this year; if you missed it, you really missed out) and new insights into his life gleaned from genetic testings. Yes, looks like he had malaria, and his club foot was likely the result of inbreeding. Doesn’t look like he was murdered though, which was previously the most popular theory on his too-young death.
The DNA tests have also established a family. More inbreeding. The mummy previously referred to only as “Elder Lady” (on left) has been revealed to be Tut’s grandmother, Tiye. His only grandmother, since Tut’s parents, we now know, were brother and sister, Tiye’s offspring. Evidence also suggests that maybe Tut himself indulged in some of the ol’ incest — two mummified children are likely to be his and his half-sister’s.
You can read Zahi Hawass’s story here, but I encourage you to seek out the September issue print version because Kenneth Garrett’s photos are lush in a way only Nat Geo’s glossed pages can capture. I was particularly drawn to this photo of Tiye, still with her beautiful reddish hair flowing behind her, left hand forever clenched in a sign of queendom. She stayed fly, that Tiye.