Friday, February 19, 2010

"InDNA" Jones in Egypt

In former times, the hero of this tale would have been Tutankhamun himself, of course.

These days, one has the impression that a more powerful Egyptian chief than the New Kingdom pharaoh has arisen, and is stealing the archaeological limelight at times.

The name of the all-powerful boss of Egyptian antiquities is Zahi Hawass. He's the man who's presently blocking (for reasons I fail to grasp) an examination of the interior of the Great Pyramid of Giza that might confirm the extraordinary construction theory put forward by the French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin. On this subject, see my article of 27 November 2008 entitled How did they do it? [display]

Hawass has the look and style (and the hat, too) of the movie archaeologist Indiana Jones. As of a fortnight ago, I think that Hawass deserves a nickname: "InDNA". He revealed, in a press conference, that genetic tests indicate that Tutankhamun was the fruit of an incestuous affair between Akhenaten and his sister. The name of this lady is unknown, but we might suppose that young Tut simply called her Mummy [shameful pun].

Today, everybody knows that it's not a good idea for brothers and sisters to procreate, because human chromosomes can get horribly screwed up in situations of that kind. For example, it appears that Tutankhamun, who died at the age of 19, suffered from malaria, a cleft lip and an inherited bone disease that caused him to have a club foot. As if that weren't enough, he was represented in paintings as an androgynous creature. Of course, you don't notice any of these genetic flaws when you admire the dead pharaoh through his funeral mask and mummy swaddling. But you can't hide anything from DNA tests.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting facts!

    The photo of Zahi Hawass is one of the best "environmental portraits" I have seen so far, with him planted in the landscape like a pyramid.