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date: 30 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

For over 130 years, human remains from the Valley of the Kings have provided a rich resource for biological studies. These range from the early invasive investigations of royal and nonroyal mummies undertaken by Brugsch, Maspero, and Elliot Smith to more recent multidisciplinary studies using advanced palaeoimaging techniques and aDNA analysis. This biological material provides an unparalleled opportunity to investigate various aspects of the royal families of the New Kingdom—including identification of mummies, familial relationships, and mummification techniques—and to undertake studies of individual gender, lifestyle, diet, disease, age, and cause of death. Although this area of research presents many challenges, the technical advances and new diagnostic methods available to future investigators will enable them to realize the full potential of this resource and the contribution it can make to studies in Egyptology and the history of disease and medicine.

Keywords: mummy, biological studies, palaeoimaging, aDNA analysis, familial relationship, history of disease, history of medicine, Brugsch, Maspero, Elliot Smith

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