Mysterious Queen Puabi: Will the Natural History Museum ever release Puabi’s DNA test results?

Just four months before his death on October 9, 2010, ancient astronaut theorist Zecharia Sitchin, 90, was putting his life’s work on the line with a DNA test. The author of 14 books was adamant about the Natural History Museum doing DNA testing. He was aware that the results may call into question everything he had ever written, but he was determined to follow the truth wherever it went.

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Queen Puabi’s Reconstruction. © Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons 

He was well aware that he would encounter opposition and derision from the mainstream scientific community, who saw him as a pseudo-historian. He was well aware that his request was essentially “provoking science to confirm the bibles,” upsetting traditional ways of thinking.

Sitchin wanted the museum to test the 4,500-year-old remains of a high-ranking Sumerian woman called Queen Puabi. Her remains were discovered in the 1920s and 30s around the same time as Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt. It was one of the 20th century’s greatest archaeological finds.

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Queen Puabi seated, with attendants, c. 2600 BCE. © Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Her name and title are clear from the short inscription on one of the three-cylinder seals found on her person. She may have ruled on her own without a husband. London’s Natural History Museum determined she probably died around 40 years old at the time and was Queen of the First Dynasty of Ur. During his studies, Sitchen discovered that Queen Puabi was described as “Nin” in the ancient Sumerian, translated to “Goddess.”

In an interview with NBC News, Sitchen discussed his quest with the “Cosmic Log.” The author nearing the end of his life believed the Queen’s DNA could prove that the Annunaki described in Sumerian tablets genetically altered humans. Not only that, but they purposefully held back certain traits in humans.

Anunnaki gods on Earth. Tablet sculptured with a scene representing the worship of the Sun-god in the Temple of Sippar. © licensed under public domain

“He suggests that Puabi was an ancient demigod, genetically related to the visitors from Nibiru. What if these aliens tinkered with our DNA to enhance our intelligence – the biblical tree of knowledge of good and evil – but held back the genetic fruit from the tree of eternal life? Does the story of Adam and Eve refer to the aliens’ tinkering?

The way Sitchin sees it, the ancient myths suggest that ‘whoever created us deliberately held back from us a certain thing – fruit, genes, DNA, whatever – not to give us health, longevity, and the immortality that they had. So what was it?’

Sitchin wants scientists to test the DNA from Puabi’s remains, just in case it holds the answer. ‘Maybe by comparing her genome with ours, we would find out what are those missing genes that they deliberately did not give us,’ he told me. ‘Maybe. I cannot guarantee that, but maybe.’

The Natural History Museum responded to the journalist, but would not commit to doing the test. The Natural History Museum says that any request to conduct DNA tests on Puabi’s remains would have to come from a researcher with recognized experience and skills in this field, or with access to the necessary facilities required to undertake ancient DNA analysis.

Sitchin told me he’s checking with various research groups, including some of the researchers behind last month’s Neanderthal DNA findings and the DNA analysis conducted on 4,000-year-old human hair from Greenland. ‘I’m offering from my minuscule family foundation to fund this, by the way, so I’m not asking them for money,’ Sitchin told me. ‘And I’m not asking them to say Sitchin is right or wrong. I’m asking them to tell the museum in London this is too important not to do it. And that’s where it stands.”

For some context: At that time in 2010, about 32 percent of Americans believed in UFOs. Today, that number is far higher. According to Vox, “More than half of American adults and over 60 percent of young Americans believe in intelligent extraterrestrial life” in 2019. Sitchin may not have been credible enough for the museum to consider his request back then, but what about today? What is there to lose anyway?

Queen Puabi was buried adjacent to a “Great Death Pit.” Seventy-four individuals, six of whom were male and the rest female, were possibly sacrificed or drank poison. They may have died to accompany an important woman to the afterlife.

One of the female bodies was adorned very similar to Queen Puabi and may have been a royal figure or priestess. Clearly, these women were of supreme importance. But was the Queen also more than merely a human, as Sitchin suggested?

One of the Entu-Priestesses, Enheduana, is now considered one of if not the first-named author, writing her name on a tablet dating back to at least 2300 BCE.

What happened to the DNA test of Queen Puabi?

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Sumerian necklaces and headgear were discovered in the royal (and individual) graves, showing the way they may have been worn. © Image Credit: British Museum.

All these years later, it seems that Queen Puabi’s DNA test results are not in, at least not publicly. With Sitchin gone, it seems the momentum disappeared. However, today there is a growing interest in ancient astronaut theory, thanks no doubt to the History Channel’s popular “Ancient Aliens” series. Will there be another push to test Puabi’s remains?

In 2014, reports indicate that geneticist Yehia Gad became the first scientist permitted to sequence Egypt’s most famous pharaoh, King Tut. It took decades thanks to resistance from Egypt’s politicians. They no doubt feared the controversy of what the results would determine.

There was understandably strong motivation to protect the delicate remains as well as Egyptian heritage. The extremely complex story is spelled out in a fascinating way by Medium. It’s much too elaborate to cover here. In the end, the mummy wasn’t officially tested for 86 years, as DNA testing technology progressed.

Controversial results

Realistic 3D illustration of DNA cell on dark background. © Image Credit: Serhii Yaremenko | Licensed from Dreamstime Inc. (Editorial/Commercial Use Stock Photo)

Indeed, the results were controversial, finding that Tut’s parents were siblings amid a media blitz. An anonymous mummy from tomb KV55 found nearby had a similarly-shaped head. Was it Pharoah Akhenaten? The team believed it was, although it has never been confirmed.

“The union between Akhenaten and his sister planted the seed of their son’s early death,” he wrote. ‘Tutankhamun’s health was compromised from the moment he was conceived.’”

Rather than finding that Pharaoh Tutankhamun was of alien origin, the results sadly set off disputes about the race of ancient Egyptian royalty. However, there was no information on the mummy’s racial or ethnic origins provided by the tests.

The results were disputed by the Journal of the American Medical Association, which stated the test wasn’t accurate. The sample was contaminated with modern DNA, and what remained was degraded.

Following it, there was a period of political unrest and plundering Egyptian artifacts. Galleries housing Tutankhamun’s burial artifacts were crushed and broken on the floor. No further testing would go forward.

Nonetheless, next-generation sequencing has improved to the point that King Tut’s DNA, as well as DNA from Queen Puabi, might be investigated much more precisely today.

Paradoxically, the ancient method of mummification was used to preserve DNA. Why? Many individuals nowadays appear to be hesitant to put mummies to the test. How much longer will we have to wait? Perhaps the mysteries will be kept as long as their old souls want, or are we now approaching the point when humans are ready for the truth?