An Egyptian woman has told of her surprise at learning that she is related to an Ancient Egyptian mummy from more than two and a half millennia ago.
Treveina Basily, an Egyptian Christian living in Australia, made the discovery after taking a DNA test.
The results showed that she was related to a mummy from the Saite dynasty, the last native dynasty to rule over Egypt prior to the Persian conquest.
Treveina told media in Egypt: “The whole story is about curiosity. I have been hearing my friends talk about their lineage and family tree all my life.
“I was also curious to know where my roots are from.”
Three months after sending off a sample, she was delivered the results. However, she found them difficult to understand, so she searched for an expert who could help her.
She told Egyptian media: “I contacted engineer Mohamed Abdel Hady for an interpretation…and there was a surprise, that the DNA proved that my kinship dates back to one of the Pharaonic eras, specifically to the Saite era.”
Mohamed told local media: “Basily’s DNA analysis results revealed that she is of 100 per cent Ancient Egyptian lineage, with no mixing whatsoever.”
He published the findings in a report titled “An Egyptian whose genes date back to the era of the mummies of the Saite era.”
Treveina says that although many people today share much DNA with Ancient Egyptians, her results were unique.
She said: “The issue is not that I am purely Egyptian or not. Many Egyptians do the analysis and the result shows that they are 100 per cent Egyptian…
“The difference is that my analysis shows a genetic similarity with the DNA of a mummy.”
Egypt’s geographical location has made the country a point of interchange for many cultures and civilisations over the centuries.
As such, many of its modern-day inhabitants have mixed heritage.
However, Egypt’s Coptic community claims a direct continuity with the ancient Egyptians, tracing their heritage back to the pharaonic era.
Many Copts believe that their ancestry can be traced to the pre-Islamic era and that they are the direct descendants of the Ancient Egyptians.