Tooth removed from Egyptian mummy to extract DNA

Published on October 20th, 2009 | by Admin


A tooth has been removed from a 4,000-year-old Egyptian mummy in order to extract DNA from the pulp within.

It was the oddest of scenes: A neurosurgeon delicately threaded a scope up the neck and into the skull of a disembodied, 4,000-year-old mummified head. Sweating with concentration, another doctor clamped a molar and began to rock it gently back and forth.

Three hours later, the nerve-wracking operation yielded a tooth, a time capsule holding precious DNA, which might reveal the identity of the ancient Egyptian head.

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6 Responses to Tooth removed from Egyptian mummy to extract DNA

  1. Ann says:

    Are you sure you have the right mummy picture here? KV60 A is thought to be Hatshepsut or her wetnurse, if I’m not mistaken, and both the mummies are in Cairo? The Boston Museum of fine arts exhibition is about the tomb of Djehutynakht, definitely not KV60?

  2. Good catch! I’ve changed the photo to something more generic.

  3. Didn’t Dr. Spencer Wells of Nat’l Geographic obtain DNA from a mummy’s tooth to test a theory? I think he just yanked one out…I can’t remember the scenario. It wasn’t The Journey of Man.

  4. docapoc says:

    who’s in charge of this DNA test? and where is the funding coming from? Thats the real question.

    the answer of what ethnicity the ancient Egyptians were is a very political discussion, and i would hate to see a special interest group taint it with lies.

    I believe the real ancient Egyptians were the Copts. Not the Arabic peoples who later invaded.

  5. kay says:

    The ancient Egyptians are related to modern day Somalians, Eritrians, Ethiopians, Sudanese.

    Nilotic African people. Slim build, narrow shoulders, elongated hated.

    They are not Arabs. Nor are they from the north our out of Africa- but in anitqyuity- indigenous African people.

    This is the DNA testing they should be doing (or may have done already and are hiding since it is not politically palatable.)

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