Egypt will soon reveal the results of DNA tests made on the world's most famous ancient king, the young Pharaoh Tutankhamun, to answer lingering mysteries over his lineage, the antiquities department said Sunday.
Speaking at a conference, archaeology chief Zahi Hawass said he would announce the results of the DNA tests and the CAT scans on Feb. 17. The results will be compared to those made of King Amenhotep III, who may have been Tutankamun's grandfather.
The effort is part of a wider program to check the DNA of hundreds of mummies to determine their identities and family relations. The program could help determine Tutankhamun's family lineage, which has long been a source of mystery.
Zahi Hawass told AFP he has scheduled a news conference for February 17 in the Cairo Museum.
The announcement will be "about the secrets of the family and the affiliation of Tutankhamun, based on the results of the scientific examination of the Tutankhamun mummy following DNA analysis," Hawass said.
The tomb of the boy king, who reigned from the age of nine and died under as yet unknown circumstances at about 19, was unearthed by British archaeologists in the Valley of the Kings in 1922, causing an international sensation.
Egypt's antiquities authorities said in August 2008 that they had taken DNA samples from Tutankhamun's mummy and from two foetuses found in his tomb, to determine whether the still-born children had been fathered by the boy king.