The University of Manchester, a member of the prestigious Russell Group, is the UK’s largest single-site university with more than 40,000 students – including more than 10,000 from overseas.It is
consistently ranked among the world’s elite for graduate employability.
In the year 1907, Erfai, an excavator discovered an Egyptian tomb that was untouched. This unusual site contained
two tombs of men from high-society named Nakht-Ankh and Khnum-Nakht with adjacent coffins.
These coffins were strong enough to survive the pillaging being done by tomb raiders.
The coffins were dated 4000 years back with inscriptions that told a section of the story from their life
. Both these coffins contained the name of their mothers who was the same woman named “Khnum-aa”.
The excavators of the tombs nicknamed the burial site “the tomb of the two brothers”.
The two coffins are up for display at the Manchester Museum in Britain from the year 1908. However,
from the beginning of their discovery, scientists have doubted the fraternal relationship between the
two men. An in-depth study of the ancient DNA of both the mummies was led by Margaret Murray who is an
anthropologist at the British university. It was hard for the scientists to convince themselves that
these two men belonged to the same race, with far less chance of belonging to the same family. The
anatomy of these mummies was different as well. The team agreed on studying scraps obtained from their
skin. The distinct complexion of the bodies suggested that they didn’t share the same parents.
“The University of Manchester, and Manchester Museum in particular, has a long history of research on
ancient Egyptian human remains. Our reconstructions will always be speculative to some extent but to be
able to link these two men in this way is an exciting first,” said Dr Campbell Price, Curator of Egypt
and Sudan at Manchester Museum.
The coffin confirmed that they both had the same mother but the fraternal relationship was in question
here. The team extracted DNA sample from their teeth to determine their relationship. The elder of the
two by 20 years was Khnum-Nakht. The hasty pattern for mummification of his burial site suggested that
the man died a sudden death. Six months later his younger half-sibling died but was wrapped up with
A complete Mitochondrial DNA profile was obtained for both the brothers who confirmed their maternal
relationship. However, the data from the Y chromosomes were somehow spottier which confirmed the fact
that these men were not related from the father’s side. Both the half-siblings had the hieroglyphic
inscription that suggested their father was a local governor; however one of them was the stepson of
the governor. They weren’t royalty but belonged to an elite class of society.