Signs of Incest in Famous Mummies: Photos

Incestuous marriages were common among ancient Egyptian royalty and now a study shows there’s physical evidence of the practice.

The short stature of the pharaohs who ruled ancient Egypt supports historical records that they might have married their sisters and cousins, according to research into 259 mummies. Amenhotep I, whose mummy is still wrapped, scored the highest point in the study’s incest factor ranking. The 165-cm (5.41-foot)-tall king was probably the product of three generations of sibling marriages. The second pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt, Amenhotep I ruled from 1526 to 1506 BC and was the last ruler of the Ahmoside family, having died without a male successor. Historical sources report the Ahmoside family had a high level of incestuous marriage. The variation of height within the family is the lowest of all royal families under investigation.

Mummies’ Height Reveals Incest