Researchers have long viewed the mummy of Tutankhamun as the key to ancient Egypt’s secrets:

THE TOMB IS DRY AND HOT. Opposite looms the gowned shape of Hawass, who is scrutinizing Gad’s every move; squeezed into the corner is Discovery’s film crew. Gad tries to hide his nerves. He knows that the others doubt his ability, and for good reason: he has little practice working with mummies. Back in his Cairo lab, he has always been supervised by a foreign tutor. But his very first day pulling DNA without his teacher will be watched by the world, and his subject is the incalculably precious mummy of Tutankhamun.