Alice Baghdijan, Reuters, August 1, 2011
Up to 70 percent of British men and half of all Western European men are related to the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, geneticists in Switzerland said.
The results showed that King Tut belonged to a genetic profile group, known as haplogroup R1b1a2, to which more than 50 percent of all men in Western Europe belong, indicating that they share a common ancestor.
Among modern-day Egyptians this haplogroup contingent is below 1 percent, according to iGENEA.
“It was very interesting to discover that he belonged to a genetic group in Europe–there were many possible groups in Egypt that the DNA could have belonged to,” said Roman Scholz, director of the iGENEA Centre.
“We think the common ancestor lived in the Caucasus about 9,500 years ago,” Scholz told Reuters.
It is estimated that the earliest migration of haplogroup R1b1a2 into Europe began with the spread of agriculture in 7,000 BC, according to iGENEA.
However, the geneticists were not sure how Tutankhamun’s paternal lineage came to Egypt from its region of origin.