Thursday, 19 May 2005
The Legend of Nefertiti
Ancient bust of Nefertiti
Computer reconstruction of Nefertiti's face from skull
Queen Nefertiti of Ancient Egypt, was said to be one of the most beautiful women of her time. Much of the details of her life are shrouded in mystery as are the circumstances of her death and where indeed her mummy was burried.
She was the wife of Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, who later on called himself Akhenaten. Her name means "the beautiful one has come", which makes archaeologists wonder whether she had actually come to Egypt from elsewhere and was not Egytian at all. Others say she was the daughter of the nobleman Ay, who later became Pharaoh himself. No matter what her genealogy was, Nefertiti became a legend.
When her husband, after 4 years on the throne, decided to start worhiping the Aten a new god whose sympbol was the sun-disk, dismiss all other gods and moved the capital to the middle of the desert, building there a new city called Amarna, that really rubbed the priests of Amon up the wrong way. The royal couple made many enemies as they had brazenly changed the status quo in the most dramatic and unconformist way possible.
There is evidence to suggest that they reigned as co-rulers, something which really broke tradition as it was almsot unheard of at that point for a woman to be Pharaoh as well. In being Pharaoh, Nefertiti was also the most powerful as well as teh most beautiful woman of her time.
Shortly after the 14th year of their reign, Nefertiti's name dissapears from historical records and we can only assume that she died. However, there are those who believe that she reigned as Pharaoh under the name Smenkhare.
In June 2003 scientists led by Joann Fletcher from York University, claimed they had found the mummy of Nefertiti. However opinions on this matter remain divided. (See links below)
Posted by Anna at Thursday, May 19, 2005