Would the real Nefertiti please stand up?
Joanne Fletcher, the British Egyptologist who was the star of Discovery Channel's Nefertiti Resurrected, believes she may have uncovered the true mummy of the popular Egyptian queen. Other experts, such as Kent Weeks, are not so sure.
Was she the most beautiful queen in ancient Egypt?
Her famous bust, if life-like, certainly suggests that.
The facial reconstruction from the documentary also confirms this. But it does differ from the statue?
It would be impossible to say with absolute certainty that the bust and the reconstruction were one in the same people.
In her time - the Amarna period - she was portrayed in a more humble setting. Her husband, Akhenaten, was also portrayed without the god-like stature of most other pharaohs.
Artwork of the time also suggests she obtained an unusually high status for a woman.
Is it possible that she shared power with her husband, or controlled ancient Egypt for a time after his death?
It was unprecedented for a women to hold that kind of power.
Hidden away in a secret chamber in the valley of the kings, were three mummies. It was French Archaeologist, Victor Loret, who originally made the discovery in the famous tomb called KV35. It was the tomb of Amenhotep II.
One was an elder lady, aged approximately thirty five to forty years old at time of death. This mummy been suggested to be Nefertiti by egyptologist Susan James.
Another was a twelve to fourteen year old boy. But it was the so-called younger lady mummy that has Joanne Fletcher convinced it is none other than the famous wife of Akhenaten.
You could be forgiven for not seeing the beauty connection. With a gaping, wrecked mouth and chest, as well as a missing arm, beauty must certainly be in the eye of the beholder.
Fletcher believes the suggested Mummy could have been savaged by those who viewed her as the heretic wife of Akhenaten. This act aligns with the ancient Egyptian belief that the mouth is needed in the afterlife and would surely not survive without it.
The feet were also damaged.
If deliberate, these acts signify that the vandals were sentencing the mummies to eternal damnation.
Why does Fletcher believe the younger women is the famous Queen in question?
Some interesting points:
1. The younger woman has a shaved head that allows for a tight brow band only worn by pharaohs and queens
2. A double pierced earlobe consistent with that of her bust.
3. A Nubian wig that was worn by royalty.
4. Post embalming mutilation, suggesting that Nefertiti was disliked in life. (Her worship of the short lived sun god Aten made her enough enemies to support this theory.)
This theory is interesting, sure, but by no means conclusive.
Nevertheless, this beautiful queen with delicate high cheekbones, full lips and almond shaped eyes continues to stir the imaginations and fuel debate over which dusty, hacked-up mummy is indeed the most beautiful of them all.
return from Nefertiti to Egyptian Mummy page.