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Science has increased the distance between two "brothers" 4,000 years after their death.

Khnum-Nakht and Nakht-Ankh — when their mummified remains were found 110 years ago — were thought to be brothers. 

From inscriptions on the coffin to their common burial site, everything suggested as much — leading them to be referred to as "two brothers." 

However, after many years, the truth has turned out to be something else. It was recently revealed that Khnum-Nakht and Nakht-Ankh have different fathers.

People started doubting their relationship after they noticed morphological differences in their skeletons when they were brought to the University of Manchester, in the United Kingdom, in 1908. But the mystery remained unsolved, until now. 

In 2015, DNA was extracted from the teeth of the two skeletons and was analysed. It showed that Nakht-Ankh and Khnum-Nakht belonged to the mitochondrial haplotype M1a1, suggesting they had the same mother.

The Y chromosome sequences were not complete but showed variations between the two mummies, indicating that they had different fathers. They're very likely "half-brothers".

The mystery behind the two mummies, which are still housed in the Manchester Museum, was finally solved by using "next-generation" DNA techniques.

"It was a long and exhausting journey to the results but we are finally here. I am very grateful we were able to add a small but very important piece to the big history puzzle and I am sure the brothers would be very proud of us. These moments are what make us believe in ancient DNA," Dr Konstantina Drosou, of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Manchester, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Dr Campbell Price, Curator of Egypt and Sudan at Manchester Museum, said: "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."

The study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science was the first to successfully use the typing of both mitochondrial and Y chromosomal DNA in Egyptian mummies.