June 27, 2007—
This mummy is the body of gender-bending female pharaoh Hatshepsut, who ruled ancient Egypt as both queen and king nearly 3,500 years ago, archaeologists announced today.
The mummified remains were first discovered in a tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Kings more than a century ago. The body was left there unidentified until two months ago, when it was brought to Cairo's Egyptian Museum for testing.
Researchers identified the ancient queen by matching a molar known to have been Hatshepsut's with an empty tooth socket in the mummy's jaw.
The scientists are also conducting DNA tests, and preliminary results suggest a close familial relationship between the mummy and that of Hatshepsut's grandmother, Amos Nefreteri.
"We are 100 percent sure" that the mummy is Hatshepsut, said Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council on Antiquities, in a press conference today.
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Photograph by Brando Quilici/Discovery Channel/Agentur Focus