December 21, 2012

Y chromosome of Ramesses III

From the paper:
Genetic kinship analyses revealed identical haplotypes in both mummies (table 1⇓); using the Whit Athey’s haplogroup predictor, we determined the Y chromosomal haplogroup E1b1a.

Ethiohelix has more.
Added in my compendium of ancient Y chromosome studies.

BMJ 2012; 345 doi:

Revisiting the harem conspiracy and death of Ramesses III: anthropological, forensic, radiological, and genetic study


Objective To investigate the true character of the harem conspiracy described in the Judicial Papyrus of Turin and determine whether Ramesses III was indeed killed.

Design Anthropological, forensic, radiological, and genetic study of the mummies of Ramesses III and unknown man E, found together and taken from the 20th dynasty of ancient Egypt (circa 1190-1070 BC).

Results Computed tomography scans revealed a deep cut in Ramesses III’s throat, probably made by a sharp knife. During the mummification process, a Horus eye amulet was inserted in the wound for healing purposes, and the neck was covered by a collar of thick linen layers. Forensic examination of unknown man E showed compressed skin folds around his neck and a thoracic inflation. Unknown man E also had an unusual mummification procedure. According to genetic analyses, both mummies had identical haplotypes of the Y chromosome and a common male lineage.

Conclusions This study suggests that Ramesses III was murdered during the harem conspiracy by the cutting of his throat. Unknown man E is a possible candidate as Ramesses III’s son Pentawere.



Anonymous said...

I'm really surprised nobody has commented on this! Isn't E1b1a almost exclusively a West African/Sub-Saharan African haplogroup? It's very rare even in Sudan. Intringuingly, now we have ancient DNA for a "Tutankhamun" lineange (R1b) and a "Ramesses III" lineage (E1b1a), neither of which is common in the current population of Egypt.

Marianne Luban said...

Please see my blog posts on the subject. In addition to commenting on the latest paper in BJM, I put the STRs of the family of Tutankhamun into a popaffiliator program. They presented as sub-Saharan, as well!

Marianne Luban said...

In addition to commenting on the recent paper in BJM, I ran the STRs of the family of Tutankhamun and they presented as sub-Saharan, as well, in a significant portion.
See here, and any comments would be appreciated.

raffi17 said...

@Marianne Luban

To check the validity of popAffiliator 2 ( using the same 9 STRs, I ran the STRs of a few samples from DNATribes website (

As we can see below, ALL of them were assigned to their correct Continental groups (Sub-Saharan Africa, Eurasia, Asia).

Just note these are NOT admixture proportions but just probabilities. So it seems that even 8 markers are enough to assign the correct continental groups with Sub-Saharan individuals always getting a Sub-Saharan probability > 90%.

9 STRS used(CSF1PO,D2S1338, D3S1358,D13S317, D16S539, D18S51, D21S11, FGA + D7S820)

Ramses III:

Sub-Saharan Africa 96.2%
Eurasia 2%
Asia 1.8%

(D7S280 was defaulted as you mentionned but using any value for D7S280, Ramses III always gets a probablity > 90% for sub-Saharan Africa.)

1) Sub-saharan individuals

African America:
Sub-Saharan Africa 99.2%
Eurasia 0.6%
Asia 0.3%

Sub-Saharan Africa 93%
Eurasia 4.3%
Asia 2.7%

2) Eurasian individuals

South Italian:
Eurasia 59.2%
Asia 28.8%
Sub-Saharan Africa 12%

Eurasia 47.4%
Sub-Saharan Africa 37%
Asia 15.6%

Saudi Arabian:
Eurasia 45.6%
Sub-Saharan Africa 42.7%
Asia 11.6%

Eurasia 63.4%
Sub-Saharan Africa 31%
Asia 5.6%

Eurasia 62.6%
Sub-Saharan Africa 19.6%
Asia 17.8%

3) Asian individuals

Asia 77%
Eurasia 18.6%
Sub-Saharan Africa 4.4%

raffi17 said...

DnaTribes just released a new study which seems to confirm "evidence of Sub-Saharan African ancestry (possibly among several ancestral components) for pharaonic families of ancient Egypt".

"Digest for February 2013: Ramesses III and African Ancestry in the 20th Dynasty of New Kingdom Egypt" :

King Tut said...

Thanks for the Author. That is very informative, there are another great info about Ramses III at: