A genetic investigation by French archaeologist Marc Gabolde is threatening to rewrite the history books on two of ancient Egypt’s most iconic figures. For years, antiquities experts have assumed that Akhenaten and his unnamed sister were the parents of the world’s most famous pharaoh, Tutankhamun. And in fact, recent DNA analyses suggested as much. But as Gabolde’s new interpretation of the genetic data shows, King Tut’s mom may have been none other than his father’s first cousin, Nefertiti.
That Nefertiti may have been Tutankhamun’s mother is not a complete shocker. She was married to Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, after all — his Great Royal Wife and chief consort. Moreover, Egyptologists know that the couple had children together (they parented six daughters). Yet, the DNA evidence suggested a different maternal parentage for Tutankhamun.