The coffin of the boy king Tutankhamun (left) is seen next to a statue of Akhenaten.
A new forensic examination has added evidence to the controversial theory that a mystery mummy found near Tut's resting place is Akhenaten, also known as Amunhotep IV, a powerful pharaoh that a number of experts believe is Tut's father.
The mystery mummy, of a 25- to 40-year-old male, shares many of Tut's unusual features, such as a distinctive egg-shaped head and a small spinal deformity, the team discovered.
The mummy's identity has been debated ever since it was discovered in tomb KV 55 in 1907 with a damaged cartouche, a nameplate that normally identifies royal remains. The mummy was found with gold-leaf fragments and hieroglyphs linked to only one nameAkhenatenbut a number of alternate theories abound.
"I still think that the mummy is that of Smenkhkarewho was probably either the brother or son of Akhenaten, and thus will have shared many of his features," Aidan Dodson, an archaeologist at the University of Bristol, told National Geographic News.
"Akhenaten may have been buried at one time in KV 55 ... but the mummy was probably later removed and destroyed," he added. "I do not believe that there will ever be 100 percent agreement about this particular mummy."
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Left Photograph by M. Spencer Green/AP/
Right Photograph by Ethan Miller/Getty Images