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Nefertiti

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Nefertiti was the wife of the great Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten, who reigned in 14 c. BC. The bust of Nefertiti was created more than 3,300 years ago by famous royal sculptor Thutmose. The piece of art was excavated in 1912 in the Thutmose’s studio (“Hidden Face in Nefertiti Bust Examined with TC Scan”, 2009).  The bust of Nefertiti is considered to be one of the greatest troves of ancient Egypt “mostly due to the excellent preservation of the color and the fine modeling of the face” (“Nefertiti. Room 2.10: Bust of Queen Nefertiti”, (n.d.).

The face is beautiful, lineaments are exquisite. The tall, flat-topped crown is decorated with a thin band. Nefertiti is depicted as “a grown woman with a harmonic and balanced beauty which is not disturbed by the slight folds under the eyes and chin, as well as the slightly sunk cheeks” (“Nefertiti. Room 2.10: Bust of Queen Nefertiti”, (n.d.). The bust is made of limestone and gypsum. The eyes are crystal and only in one eye there is the pupil attached with wax. The ears are partly broken (“Nefertiti. Room 2.10: Bust of Queen Nefertiti”, (n.d.).

In 1992, the bust of Nefertiti was examined by means of CT scan (Computerized Tomography) and then in 2007 this procedure was conducted once again. The scholars have discovered that the statue has two layers of stucco. It is very thin only on the face and ears. The examination has rvealed a few fissures and connections between two layers. The inner part of the face is a bit different from the outer one. The interior layer has “creases around the corner of the mouth and cheeks, less depth in the corners of eyelids, less prominent cheekbones and a slight bump on the ridge of the nose” (“Hidden Face in Nefertiti Bust Examined with TC Scan”, 2009). The ears are the same. There was an assumption that the sculpture idealized the outer layer of the face, hiding all the defects, due to the aesthetic concepts of that time. After all, CT scan may give the possibility to avoid damaging the bust as there were discovered its most fragile spots (“Hidden Face in Nefertiti Bust Examined with TC Scan”, 2009).

According to Ertman (2009), Nefertiti might have had “an epicanthic fold, a piece of skin from the upper eyelid covering the inner edge of the eye”. This may be the indication of health abnormity usually on the genetic basis (Ertman, 2009). Such syndromes are passed from mother to daughter. Ertman claims (2009) that the present scholars investigate ‘the possibility that Nefertiti’s eyes reflect such an underlying physical condition”. But they cannot be exactly confident about this fact without her remains. According to Ertman (2009), German excavators retrieved a number of other artistic works which depicted Nefertiti and her daughters. Many of them were not completed, “but their distinctive eyes were easily noticed” (Erttman, 2009).

There is an argument whether the bust of Nefertiti belongs to the country of its origin or to German, the home of the expedition, led by Ludwig Borchardt, which has discovered the piece of art. The Egypt’s antiquities chief, Hawass, asked different foreign museums, which reserved Egyptian works of art, to loan him those pieces only for displaying in two new museums (“Egypt wants Nefertiti bust; Germans say ‘nein’’, 2007).  The bust of Nefertiti was the most eligible in his list. The representatives of Berlin’s Egyptian Museum, the keeper of the work of art, told the statue “was too fragile to travel” (“Egypt wants Nefertiti bust; Germans say ‘nein’’, 2007).  Also, they doubted whether they would receive the piece of art back. It was announced that Nefertiti bust would never leave Berlin for “reasons of conservation and security” (“Egypt wants Nefertiti bust; Germans say ‘nein’’, 2007). Of course, the authority of Egypt can try to turn this piece of art back, but it requires putting a lot of effort and spending much time in a law court without confidence in positive results.

Thus, the bust of Nefertiti is one of the most noted finds of art of ancient Egypt. I have chosen it for discussion because I am extremely interested in rich ancient Egyptian culture. It is full of mysteries which enclose exciting facts from the history of this country.

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