Ancient Egyptian mummies’ faces have been rebuilt using DNA in a spectacular 2,700-year breakthrough.
In a startling achievement, Egyptian specialists have rebuilt the faces of three ancient mummies using DNA taken from their remains.
The three were buried between 780 BC and 5 AD in Abusir el-Meleq, an ancient settlement on a floodplain south of Cairo. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Tubingen, Germany, sequenced their DNA for the first time in 2017. With the use of a procedure known as forensic DNA phenotyping, researchers at Parabon NanoLabs, a DNA technology corporation based in the United States, were able to generate 3D models of the mummies’ faces.
Individuals of any ethnic origin can use the method to determine genetic ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, and face shape.
It then uses the data to create a computer-generated e-fit.
The technology has previously been used to generate leads in criminal cases, but this is the “first time” it has been “done on human DNA of this age,” according to the company.
The Egyptian men were discovered to have light brown skin, dark eyes, and dark hair.
They claimed that the genetic makeup was more similar to that of modern Mediterranean or Middle Eastern folks than it was to that of modern Egyptians.
Experts also used heat maps to show the distinctions between the three males, allowing them to fine-tune the features of each individual.
Dr. Ellen Greytak, Parabon’s Bioinformatics Director, said:
“It’s fascinating to see how advanced analytics and genome sequencing can be applied to ancient DNA material.
“Ancient DNA analysis is being revolutionized by these techniques.”
The mummies came from a single archaeological site on the Nile River that was occupied between 3,250 BC and 700 AD.
In a world first, experts were able to extract precise full-genome DNA data from them.
They were also able to compare them to modern Egyptians to see how their genetic makeup differed.
They discovered that ancient Egyptians were the most closely connected to ancient Levantine tribes (modern-day Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon).
They shared genetic ancestors with Neolithic populations from the Anatolian Peninsula and Europe.
The ancient Egyptians utilized mummification as a means of embalming or healing the dead body.
Egyptians used this method to remove all fluids from the body, leaving only a dried form that was resistant to decomposition.
It was significant in the article “Brinkwire Summary News.”
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