DNA studies of Egyptian mummies suggest ties to Levant origins

Recent reports state that for the first time researchers were able to analyze DNA from a large amount of mummies, using a method that they say would avoid contamination. (Wired)

Many precious materials have been discovered in the crypts of ancient Egypt, this includes the DNA found in the mummies themselves.

Newsweek recently reported that for the first time researchers were able to analyze DNA from a large amount of mummies, using a method that they say would avoid contamination.

In a recent study published May 30 in the journal Nature Communications, scientists looked at DNA from 151 mummies.

The study continues to state that these mummified Egyptians were entombed from about 1400 B.C. to about 400 A.D, and the genetic material from the mummies had a greater similarity to the individuals in the ancient Near East and the Levant than modern Egyptians.

The news report quotes the study’s first author, Verena Schuenemann, saying that the study shows a genetic link between the people of ancient Egyptians and Neolithic from modern day Turkey and Europe.

Researchers found mitochondrial DNA in 90 individuals, said the news report.

Newsweek quotes Schuenemann saying that using these techniques could aid others in studying DNA from a large sample of mummies.

In order to avoid contamination the researchers did all their work in a clean room and treated the mummified parts with UV light, and scraped off the exterior of the bones in order to observe genetic material; the report says.

The news report states that the mummies are from Abusiar el Meleq, which is an archaeological site near the Nile River.

Newsweek reports that scientists from the study say their results should not generalized to the south or north of Egypt, which could have experienced a different level of foreign conquests.

A suggestion by the study also states that gene flow from Sub-Saharan Africa to Egypt has drastically increased in the last 1500 years possibly due to the slave trade, the news report says.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:54 - GMT 06:54
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