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June 23 2010

King Tutankhamun’s Family and Demise

JAMA. 2010;303(24):2471-2475. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.818

To the Editor: In their study, Dr Hawass and colleagues1 reported ancient DNA data from 11 royal Egyptian mummies and used microsatellites to ascertain kinship among specimens. We question the reliability of the genetic data presented in this study and therefore the validity of the authors' conclusions. Furthermore, we urge a more critical assessment of the ancient DNA data in the context of DNA degradation and contamination.