Sunday, April 5, 2009

Nefertiti Bust Found to Have Been Retouched

Queen Nefertiti is one of the most famous of all the women pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Her fabulous face is considered one of the most beautiful and some people have even tried to look like her through plastic surgery. But is the Nefertiti bust really a realistic depiction of the ancient queen? New research based on the results of a CT scan appear to show that it could be a beautified version. This, in spite of the scant knowledge we have on the ideal facial features considered beautiful and suitable for royalty in that age.

Science researchers in Germany have discovered a hidden stone sculpture underneath the external public stucco face of Nefertiti after a modern CT scan uncovered it. Previous scans weren't as reliable as the latest one and thus did not reveal the hidden artwork. The hidden face showed creases on the sides of the queen's mouth and there's also a noticeable bump on the bridge of the nose. It seems reasonable to assume that queen Nefertiti's face was modified to be more ideal as depicted by the original artist.

At left is the science-reconstructed face of the queen (front and side) based on the actual mummy remains, courtesy of the Discovery Channel. See how it compares to the bust and the hidden face underneath. The artists appear to have made her face more square with a fuller jaw.

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