Saturday, May 30, 2015

Thuya Related to Dynasty 20??

I was going over the autosomal DNA of Ramesses III and that of his son, "Unknown Man E", who could be Pentaweret--when I noticed that some of their alleles at the various loci looked familiar.  Then I recalled where I had seen them previously.  In the autosomal DNA of Thuya--the mother of Queen Tiye!

Thuya was the wife of Yuya, who seems to have been a relative of Amunhotep III.  But Yuya and Thuya don't appear to be closely related at all, according to their DNA profiles.  In fact, old Thuya has much more in common, genetically, with the men of Dynasty 20!  Why this would be I am not at all sure.  A man called Setnakht was the founder of the 20th Dynasty.  We have no idea who he was, but the evidence points to his having had a brief reign.  Ramesses III was most certainly the son of Setnakht and "Unknown Man E" the son of Ramesses III, according to their autosomal DNA profiles. The mother of  "Unknown Man E" was named Tiye.  But see this at the various markers or loci:


Ram. III     7/10
Unknown E   7/10
Thuya      7/12


Ram. III      6/15
Unknown E   6/13
Thuya     10/13


Ram.  III   15/28
Unknown E  19/28
Thuya    19/26


Ram. III   28/35
Unknown E  29.2/35
Thuya  26/35


Ram. III   8/11
Unknown E  8/12
Thuya  11/13


Ram.  III    8/12
Unknown E  12/26
Thuya   8/19


Ram. III  24/34.2
Unknown E  24/26
Thuya  24/26


Ram. III   9/12
Unknown E  9/13
Thuya  9/12

As you can see, Thuya does not fail to have at least one matching allele to either the father or the son at eight microsatellites or loci.     I'll have to investigate further, if possible.  The distance in time between Thuya and these men can be roughly calculated.  One can estimate that the mother of Queen Tiye died in Year 30 of Amunhotep III.  Allowing for an 8-year coregency between that pharaoh and Akhenaten [in which I have come to believe] the ensuing reigns up to Setnakht add up  to about 155 years.  We can't be certain of the durations of all the kings involved.  Since Setnakht had a short reign [only up to Year 4 attested] it may be that he was not young and had been born during the long kingship of Ramesses II.  Autosomal DNA can reveal near relatives as well as distant ones. 

"Unknown Man E", probably Prince Pentaweret, was involved in a plot against his father and Tiye, his mother, was also accused.  Evidently, these two believed Pentaweret had a strong claim to the throne.   Thuya, for her part, appears to have had a connection to both Ramesses III and the mother of "Unknown Man E", according to the DNA.

Friday, May 15, 2015


My latest book!  Don't miss it because I devote an entire chapter to the DNA of the royal mummies and make it easy to understand with a brief tutorial.  I also explain the rare alleles of the autosomal DNA in the extended family of Tutankhamun and where they can be found outside of Egypt. It's quite fascinating, really, and more than a little mysterious.  I think it's important that persons with an interest in Egyptology begin to get a better handle on how all that works because it's a new facet of the field and isn't going to go away. At least I hope not! There are so many things in “My Quest For Nefertiti” that aren't discussed in any other book about the Amarna Era. You may never view the royal family at the end of the 18th Dynasty in the same way again.