Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Egypt to establish up to date labs to conduct DNA tests on mummies

Source: Egypt State Information Service

Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Zahi Hawwas has said the government is planning to establish an up-to-date laboratory to conduct DNA tests on mummies.

Hawwas said the lab will cost $3 million to be paid by the American National Geographic network.

The American TV will further produce a documentary on Queen Hatshepsut, he added.

Hawwas noted that the lab will be equipped with state of the art technology and located at the basement of the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo.

"Egyptian scientists and archaeologists will supervise the DNA tests, led by the head of the National Centre for Research and Tests Dr Hani el-Nazir," he said.

Hawwas said he was one of the staunch opponents of conducting DNA tests on mummies in the past because of poor equipment, which yield incorrect results.

"The second reason is that such tests were exclusive for unspecialized foreigners, who were just seeking fame," he said.

"I remember that one of them claimed that a DNA test on the mummy of a child pharaoh in Saint Louis museum had shown his European origin."

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