Sculptor hid Egyptian queen Nefertiti’s flawed beautySeptember 20th, 2010 - 3:03 pm ICT by IANS
London, Sep 20 (IANS) Egyptian queen Nefertiti, hailed as the perfect example of beauty, might have been quite ordinary looking after all.
The 3,300-year-old carved bust of the queen with her aqualine nose and high cheek bones has won her legions of admirers.
But a delicately carved face in the limestone core of the renowned bust suggests the royal sculptor may have smoothed creases around the mouth and fixed a bumpy nose to depict the ‘Beauty of the Nile’ in better light.
TV historian Bettany Hughes was part of a team that stumbled on the discovery which is supported by research from German scientists who studied the 20-inch bust of Nefertiti, which means ‘the beautiful one has come’.
Hughes and her team carried out a CT scan of the bust and discovered a second limestone model with a bent nose and wrinkles around the eyes which may have been used as a template for the bust, reports the Daily Mail.
“That statue showed her nose was bent, and that she had wrinkles around her eyes. It’s a real portrait of a real woman,” Hughes told The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival Saturday.
“We’re now going to a tomb in the Valley of the Kings, where we think Nefertiti’s sister is, to see if the dynasty has the same features,” he said.
The bust of Nefertiti, who died around 1330 BC aged between 29 and 38, was found in Egypt in 1912 at Tell el-Amarna, the short-lived capital of Nefertiti’s husband, the Pharaoh Akhenaten. The bust is now housed in Berlin’s Altes Museum.
But the first suggestion that she may have had the ancient equivalent of botox and a nose job came in March last year when German scientists analysed the limestone carving with CT scans.
Their analysis showed that compared to the outer stucco face, the inner face had less prominent cheekbones, a slight bump on the ridge of the nose, creases around the corner of mouth and cheeks, and less depth at the corners of the eyelids.
The changes were possibly made to make the queen adhere more to the ideals of beauty of the time, the researchers said.
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