Nefertiti Bust

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Bust of Nefertiti
Nofretete Neues Museum.jpg
The iconic bust of Nefertiti is part of the Egyptian Museum of Berlin collection, currently on display in the Neues Museum.
Material limestone and stucco [1]
SizeHeight: 48 centimetres (19 in)
Created1345 BC: by Thutmose, ancient Egypt
Discovered1912: Amarna, Egypt
Present location Neues Museum, Berlin, Germany

The Nefertiti Bust is a painted stucco-coated limestone bust of Nefertiti, the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten. [2] The work is believed to have been crafted in 1345 B.C. by the sculptor Thutmose, because it was found in his workshop in Amarna, Egypt. [3] It is one of the most copied works of ancient Egypt. Owing to the work, Nefertiti has become one of the most famous women of the ancient world, and an icon of feminine beauty.

Stucco material made of aggregates, a binder, and water

Stucco or render is a construction material made of aggregates, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. It is used as a decorative coating for walls and ceilings, and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture. Stucco may be used to cover less visually appealing construction materials, such as metal, concrete, cinder block, or clay brick and adobe.

Limestone Sedimentary rocks made of calcium carbonate

Limestone is a carbonate sedimentary rock that is often composed of the skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, foraminifera, and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). A closely related rock is dolomite, which contains a high percentage of the mineral dolomite, CaMg(CO3)2. In old USGS publications, dolomite was referred to as magnesian limestone, a term now reserved for magnesium-deficient dolomites or magnesium-rich limestones.

Bust (sculpture) Sculpture of a persons head and shoulders

A bust is a sculpted or cast representation of the upper part of the human figure, depicting a person's head and neck, and a variable portion of the chest and shoulders. The piece is normally supported by a plinth. The bust is generally a portrait intended to record the appearance of an individual, but may sometimes represent a type. They may be of any medium used for sculpture, such as marble, bronze, terracotta, plaster, wax or wood.


A German archaeological team led by Ludwig Borchardt discovered the bust in 1912 in Thutmose's workshop. [4] It has been kept at various locations in Germany since its discovery, including the cellar of a bank, a salt mine in Merkers-Kieselbach, the Dahlem museum, the Egyptian Museum in Charlottenburg and the Altes Museum. [4] It is currently on display at the Neues Museum in Berlin, where it was originally displayed before World War II. [4]

Ludwig Borchardt German egyptologist

Ludwig Borchardt was a German Egyptologist who was born in Berlin. He is best known for finding a famous bust of Nefertiti at Amarna.

Merkers-Kieselbach Ortsteil of Krayenberggemeinde in Thuringia, Germany

Merkers-Kieselbach is a former municipality in the Wartburgkreis district of Thuringia, Germany. Since 31 December 2013, it is part of the municipality Krayenberggemeinde.

Charlottenburg Quarter of Berlin in Germany

Charlottenburg is an affluent locality of Berlin within the borough of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. Established as a town in 1705 and named after late Sophia Charlotte of Hanover, Queen consort of Prussia, it is best known for Charlottenburg Palace, the largest surviving royal palace in Berlin, and the adjacent museums.

The Nefertiti bust has become a cultural symbol of Berlin as well as ancient Egypt. It has also been the subject of an intense argument between Egypt and Germany over Egyptian demands for its repatriation, which began in 1924 once the bust was first displayed to the public. Egyptian inspectors were not shown the actual bust before they let it out of the country.



A "house altar" (c. 1350 BC) depicting Akhenaten, Nefertiti and three of their daughters. Note Nefertiti wears a crown similar to that depicted on the bust. Akhenaten, Nefertiti and their children.jpg
A "house altar" (c. 1350 BC) depicting Akhenaten, Nefertiti and three of their daughters. Note Nefertiti wears a crown similar to that depicted on the bust.

Nefertiti (meaning "the beautiful one has come forth") was the 14th-century BC Great Royal Wife (chief consort) of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt. Akhenaten initiated a new monotheistic form of worship called Atenism dedicated to the Sun disc Aten. [5] Little is known about Nefertiti. Theories suggest she could have been an Egyptian royal by birth, a foreign princess or the daughter of a high government official named Ay, who became pharaoh after Tutankhamun. She may have been the co-regent of Egypt with Akhenaten, who ruled from 1352 BC to 1336 BC. [5] Nefertiti bore six daughters to Akhenaten, one of whom, Ankhesenpaaten (renamed Ankhesenamun after the suppression of the Aten cult), married Tutankhamun, Nefertiti's stepson. Nefertiti was thought to have disappeared in the twelfth year of Akhenaten's reign, though whether this is due to her death or because she took a new name is not known. She may also have later become a pharaoh in her own right, ruling alone for a short time after her husband's death. [5] [6] However, it is now known that she was still alive in the sixteenth year of her husband's reign from a limestone quarry inscription found at Dayr Abū Ḥinnis. [7] Dayr Abū Ḥinnis is located "on the eastern side of the Nile, about ten kilometres north of Amarna." [8]

Great Royal Wife

Great Royal Wife, or alternatively, Chief King's Wife, is the term that was used to refer to the principal wife of the pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, who served many official functions.

Ancient Egypt ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

Pharaoh Title of Ancient Egyptian rulers

Pharaoh is the common title of the monarchs of ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty until the annexation of Egypt by the Roman Empire in 30 BCE, although the actual term "Pharaoh" was not used contemporaneously for a ruler until Merneptah, c. 1200 BCE. In the early dynasty, ancient Egyptian kings used to have up to three titles, the Horus, the Sedge and Bee (nswt-bjtj) name, and the Two Ladies (nbtj) name. The Golden Horus and nomen and prenomen titles were later added.

The bust of Nefertiti is believed to have been crafted about 1345 BC by the sculptor Thutmose. [5] [9] The bust does not have any inscriptions, but can be certainly identified as Nefertiti by the characteristic crown, which she wears in other surviving (and clearly labelled) depictions, for example the 'house altar'. [10]

Thutmose, also known as "The King's Favourite and Master of Works, the Sculptor Thutmose" was an Ancient Egyptian sculptor. He flourished around 1350 BC, and is thought to have been the official court sculptor of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten in the latter part of his reign. A German archaeological expedition digging in Akhenaten's deserted city of Akhetaton, at Amarna, found a ruined house and studio complex in early December 1912; the building was identified as that of Thutmose based on an ivory horse blinker found in a rubbish pit in the courtyard inscribed with his name and job title. Since it gave his occupation as "sculptor" and the building was clearly a sculpture workshop, the determination seemed logical and has proven to be accurate.


Nefertiti bust Nefertiti berlin.jpg
Nefertiti bust

The Nefertiti bust was found on 6 December 1912 at Amarna by the German Oriental Company (Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft – DOG), led by German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt. It was found in what had been the sculptor Thutmose's workshop, along with other unfinished busts of Nefertiti. [11] [12] Borchardt's diary provides the main written account of the find; he remarks, "Suddenly we had in our hands the most alive Egyptian artwork. You cannot describe it with words. You must see it." [13]

Amarna Egyptian archaeological site

Amarna is an extensive Egyptian archaeological site that represents the remains of the capital city newly established and built by the Pharaoh Akhenaten of the late Eighteenth Dynasty, and abandoned shortly after his death. The name for the city employed by the ancient Egyptians is written as Akhetaten in English transliteration. Akhetaten means "Horizon of the Aten".

The Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, abbreviated DOG, is a German voluntary association based in Berlin dedicated to the study of the Near East.

A 1924 document found in the archives of the German Oriental Company recalls a 20 January 1913 meeting between Ludwig Borchardt and a senior Egyptian official to discuss the division of the archeological finds of 1912 between Germany and Egypt. According to the secretary of the German Oriental Company (who was the author of the document and who was present at the meeting), Borchardt "wanted to save the bust for us". [1] [14] Borchardt is suspected of having concealed the bust's real value, [15] although he denied doing so. [16]

While Philipp Vandenberg describes the coup as "adventurous and beyond comparison", [17] Time magazine lists it among the "Top 10 Plundered Artifacts". [18] Borchardt showed the Egyptian official a photograph of the bust "that didn't show Nefertiti in her best light". The bust was wrapped up in a box when Egypt's chief antiques inspector Gustave Lefebvre came for inspection. The document reveals that Borchardt claimed the bust was made of gypsum to mislead the inspector. The German Oriental Company blames the negligence of the inspector and points out that the bust was at the top of the exchange list and says the deal was done fairly. [14] [19]

Description and examinations

The bust of Nefertiti is 48 centimetres (19 in) tall and weighs about 20 kilograms (44 lb). It is made of a limestone core covered with painted stucco layers. The face is completely symmetrical and almost intact, but the left eye lacks the inlay present in the right. [20] [21] The pupil of the right eye is of inserted quartz with black paint and is fixed with beeswax. The background of the eye-socket is unadorned limestone. Nefertiti wears her characteristic blue crown known as the "Nefertiti cap crown" with a golden diadem band looped around like horizontal ribbons and joining at the back, and an Uraeus (cobra) over her brow – which is now broken. She also wears a broad collar with a floral pattern on it. [22] The ears also have suffered some damage. [21] Gardner's Art Through the Ages suggests that "With this elegant bust, Thutmose may have been alluding to a heavy flower on its slender sleek stalk by exaggerating the weight of the crowned head and the length of the almost serpentine neck." [23]

Nefertiti bust (right).jpg
Nefertiti (Nofretete in Berlin).jpg
Right profile and front
Nefertiti bust atles.jpg
Nefertiti bust (back).jpg
Left profile and back

According to David Silverman, the Nefertiti bust reflects the classical Egyptian art style, deviating from the "eccentricities" of the Amarna art style, which was developed in Akhenaten's reign. The exact function of the bust is unknown, though it is theorized that the bust may be a sculptor's modello to be used as a basis for other official portraits, kept in the artist's workshop. [24]


Ludwig Borchardt commissioned a chemical analysis of the colored pigments of the head. The result of the examination was published in the book Portrait of Queen Nofretete in 1923: [25]

Missing left eye

When the bust was first discovered, no piece of quartz to represent the iris of the left eyeball was present, as in the other eye, and none was found despite an intensive search and a then significant reward of £1000 being put up for information regarding its whereabouts. [26] Borchardt assumed that the quartz iris of the left eye had fallen out when the sculptor Thutmose's workshop fell into ruin. [27] The missing eye led to speculation that Nefertiti may have suffered from an ophthalmic infection, and actually lost her left eye, though the presence of an iris in other statues of her contradicted this possibility. [28]

Dietrich Wildung proposed that the bust in Berlin was a model for official portraits and was used by the master sculptor for teaching his pupils how to carve the internal structure of the eye, and thus the left iris was not added. [29] Gardner's Art Through the Ages and Silverman presents a similar view that the bust was deliberately kept unfinished. [21] [23] Hawass suggested that Thutmose had created the left eye, but it was later destroyed. [30]

CT scans

The bust was first CT scanned in 1992, with the scan producing cross sections of the bust every 5 millimetres (0.20 in). [31] [32] In 2006, Dietrich Wildung, the director of Berlin's Egyptian Museum, while trying a different lighting at the Altes Museum—where the bust was then displayed—observed wrinkles on Nefertiti's neck and bags under her eyes, suggesting the sculptor had tried to depict signs of aging. A CT scan confirmed Wildung's findings; Thutmose had added gypsum under the cheeks and eyes in an attempt to perfect his sculpture, Wildung explained. [29]

The CT scan in 2006, led by Alexander Huppertz, the director of the Imaging Science Institute in Berlin, revealed a wrinkled face of Nefertiti carved in the inner core of the bust. [32] The results were published in the April 2009 Radiology journal. [33] The scan revealed that Thutmose placed layers of varying thickness on top of the limestone core. The inner face has creases around her mouth and cheeks and a swelling on the nose. The creases and the bump on the nose are leveled by the outermost stucco layer. According to Huppertz, this may reflect "aesthetic ideals of the era". [9] [34] The 2006 scan provided greater detail than the 1992 one, revealing subtle details just 1–2 mm under the stucco. [31]

Later history

The bust of Nefertiti has become "one of the most admired, and most copied, images from ancient Egypt", and the star exhibit used to market Berlin's museums. [35] It is seen as an "icon of international beauty". [15] [29] [36] "Showing a woman with a long neck, elegantly arched brows, high cheekbones, a slender nose and an enigmatic smile played about red lips, the bust has established Nefertiti as one of the most beautiful faces of antiquity." [29] It is described as the most famous bust of ancient art, comparable only to the mask of Tutankhamun. [22]

Nefertiti has become an icon of Berlin's culture. [11] Some 500,000 visitors see Nefertiti every year. [14] The bust is described as "the best-known work of art from ancient Egypt, arguably from all antiquity". [37] Her face is on postcards of Berlin and 1989 German postage stamps. [36] [38]

Locations in Germany

Neues Museum, Berlin is the present location of the Nefertiti bust Neues Museum Berlin EP1.JPG
Neues Museum, Berlin is the present location of the Nefertiti bust

The Nefertiti bust has been in Germany since 1913, [1] when it was shipped to Berlin and presented to James Simon, a wholesale merchant and the sponsor of the Amarna excavation. [12] It was displayed at Simon's residence until 1913, when Simon lent the bust and other artifacts from the Amarna dig to the Berlin Museum. [39] Although the rest of the Amarna collection was displayed in 1913–14, Nefertiti was kept secret at Borchardt's request. [17] In 1918, the Museum discussed the public display of the bust, but again kept it secret on the request of Borchardt. [39] It was permanently donated to the Berlin Museum in 1920. Finally, in 1923, the bust was first revealed to the public in Borchardt's writings and in 1924, displayed to the public as part of the Egyptian Museum of Berlin. [17] [39] The bust created a sensation, swiftly becoming a world-renowned icon of feminine beauty, and one of the most universally-recognised artifacts to survive from Ancient Egypt. The Nefertiti bust was displayed in Berlin's Neues Museum on Museum Island until the museum was closed in 1939; with the onset of World War II, the Berlin museums were emptied and the artifacts moved to secure shelters for safekeeping. [12] Nefertiti was initially stored in the cellar of the Prussian Governmental Bank and then, in the autumn of 1941, moved to the tower of a flak bunker in Berlin. [39] The Neues Museum suffered bombings in 1943 by the Royal Air Force. [40] On 6 March 1945, the bust was moved to a German salt mine at Merkers-Kieselbach in Thuringia. [12]

In March 1945, the bust was found by the American Army and given over to its Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives branch. It was moved to the Reichsbank in Frankfurt and then, in August, shipped to the U.S. Central Collecting Point in Wiesbaden where it was displayed to the public in 1946. [12] [39] In 1956, the bust was returned to West Berlin. [12] There it was displayed at the Dahlem Museum. As early as 1946, East Germany (German Democratic Republic) insisted on the return of Nefertiti to Museum Island in East Berlin, where the bust had been displayed before the war. [12] [39] In 1967, Nefertiti was moved to the Egyptian Museum in Charlottenburg and remained there until 2005, when it was moved to the Altes Museum. [39] The bust returned to the Neues Museum as its centerpiece when the museum reopened in October 2009. [15] [40] [41]


External video
Queen nefertiti1.jpg
Nuvola apps kaboodle.svg Thutmose's Bust of Nefertiti (Amarna Period), Smarthistory [42]

Requests for repatriation to Egypt

Ever since the official unveiling of the bust in Berlin in 1924, the Egyptian authorities have been demanding its return to Egypt. [11] [39] [43] In 1925, Egypt threatened to ban German excavations in Egypt unless Nefertiti was returned. In 1929, Egypt offered to exchange other artifacts for Nefertiti, but Germany declined. In the 1950s, Egypt again tried to initiate negotiations but there was no response from Germany. [39] [43] Although Germany had previously strongly opposed the repatriation, in 1933 Hermann Göring considered returning the bust to King Farouk Fouad of Egypt as a political gesture. Hitler opposed the idea, and told the Egyptian government that he would build a new Egyptian museum for Nefertiti: "In the middle, this wonder, Nefertiti, will be enthroned, ... I will never relinquish the head of the Queen." [15] [43] While the bust was under American control, Egypt requested the United States to hand it over; the USA refused and advised Egypt to take up the matter with the new German authorities. [39] In 1989, the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak viewed the bust and announced that Nefertiti was "the best ambassador for Egypt" in Berlin. [39]

Dr. Zahi Hawass, the former Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, believes that Nefertiti belongs to Egypt and that the bust was taken out of Egypt illegally and should therefore be returned. Dr. Hawass has maintained the stance that Egyptian authorities were misled over the acquisition of Nefertiti in 1913. He has demanded that Germany prove that it was exported legally. [1] [44] According to Kurt G. Siehr, another argument in support of repatriation is that "Archeological finds have their 'home' in the country of origin and should be preserved in that country." [45] The Nefertiti repatriation issue sprang up again in 2003 over the Body of Nefertiti sculpture. In 2005, Hawass requested UNESCO to intervene to return the bust. [46]

In 2007, Hawass threatened to ban exhibitions of Egyptian artifacts in Germany if Nefertiti was not lent to Egypt, but to no avail. Hawass also requested a worldwide boycott of loans to German museums to initiate what he calls a "scientific war". Hawass wanted Germany to at least lend the bust to Egypt in 2012 for the opening of the new Grand Egyptian Museum near the Great Pyramids of Giza. [35] Simultaneously, a campaign called "Nefertiti Travels" was launched by cultural association CulturCooperation, based in Hamburg, Germany. They distributed postcards depicting the bust of Nefertiti with the words "Return to Sender" and wrote an open letter to the German Culture Minister, Bernd Neumann, supporting the view that Egypt should be given the bust on loan. [36] [47] In 2009, when Nefertiti moved back to the Neues Museum – her old home, the appropriateness of Berlin as the bust's location was questioned.

Several German art experts have attempted to refute all the claims made by Hawass, pointing to the 1924 document discussing the pact between Borchardt and the Egyptian authorities, [1] [14] though, as discussed earlier, Borchardt has been accused of foul play in the deal. The German authorities have also argued the bust is too fragile to transport and that the legal arguments for the repatriation were insubstantial. According to The Times , Germany may be concerned that lending the bust to Egypt would mean its permanent departure from Germany. [15] [35]

In December 2009 Friederike Seyfried, the director of Berlin's Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection, presented to the Egyptians documents held by the museum regarding the discovery of the bust which include a protocol signed by the German excavator of the bust and the Egyptian Antiquities Service. In the documents, the object was listed as a painted plaster bust of a princess. But in the diary of Ludwig Borchardt he clearly referred to it as the head of Nefertiti. "This proves that Borchardt wrote this description so that his country can get the statue," Hawass commented "These materials confirm Egypt's contention that (he) did act unethically with intent to deceive." However, Hawass said Egypt didn't consider the Nefertiti bust to be a looted antiquity. Still, it is one of a handful of truly singular Egyptian antiquities still in foreign hands. "I really want it back," he said. [35] Hawass' statement quoted the director of the museum as saying the authority to approve the return of the bust to Egypt lies with the Prussian Cultural Heritage and the German culture minister. [48]

Allegations over authenticity

The French language book, Le Buste de Nefertiti – une Imposture de l'Egyptologie? (The Bust of Nefertiti – a Fraud in Egyptology?) by Swiss art historian Henri Stierlin and the book Missing Link in Archaeology by Berlin author and historian Erdogan Ercivan both claimed that the Nefertiti bust was a modern fake. Stierlin claims that Borchardt may have created the bust to test ancient pigments and that when the bust was admired by Prince Johann Georg of Saxony, Borchardt pretended it was genuine to avoid offending the prince. Stierlin argues that the missing left eye of the bust would have been a sign of disrespect in ancient Egypt, that no scientific records of the bust appear until 11 years after its supposed discovery, and while the paint pigments are ancient, the inner limestone core has never been dated. Ercivan suggests Borchardt's wife was the model for the bust, and both authors argue that it was not revealed to the public until 1924 because it was a fake. [13] Another theory suggested that the existing Nefertiti bust was crafted in the 1930s on Hitler's orders, and that the original was lost in World War II. [19]

In 1989, a 70 pfennig stamp which featured the bust of Nefertiti was on issue in Germany. Stamps of Germany (Berlin) 1988, MiNr 814.jpg
In 1989, a 70 pfennig stamp which featured the bust of Nefertiti was on issue in Germany.

Dietrich Wildung dismissed the claims as a publicity stunt, as radiological tests, detailed computer tomography, and material analysis have proved its authenticity. [13] The pigments used on the bust have been matched to those used by ancient Egyptian artisans. The 2006 CT scan that discovered the "hidden face" of Nefertiti proved  – according to Science News  – that the bust was genuine. [19]

Egyptian authorities also dismissed Stierlin's theory. Dr Zahi Hawass said "Stierlin is not a historian. He is delirious." Although Stierlin had argued "Egyptians cut shoulders horizontally" and Nefertiti had vertical shoulders, Hawass said that the new style seen in the Nefertiti bust is part of the changes introduced by Akhenaten, the husband of Nefertiti. Hawass also claimed that the sculptor Thutmose had created the eye, but it was later destroyed. [30]

Body of Nefertiti

In 2003, the Egyptian Museum in Berlin allowed the Hungarian artist duo Little Warsaw, András Gálik and Bálint Havas, to place the bust atop a nearly nude female bronze for a video installation to be shown at the Venice Biennale modern art festival. The project called the Body of Nefertiti was, according to the artists, an attempt to pay homage to the bust. According to Wildung, it showed "the continued relevance of the ancient world to today's art." [49] However, Egyptian cultural officials took offence and proclaimed it to be a disgrace to "one of the great symbols of their country's history". As a consequence, they also banned Wildung and his wife from further exploration in Egypt. [35] [49] [50] The Egyptian Minister for Culture, Farouk Hosny, declared that Nefertiti was "not in safe hands", and although Egypt had not renewed their claims for restitution "due to the good relations with Germany," this "recent behaviour" was unacceptable. [39]

Cultural significance

In 1930, the German press described the Nefertiti bust as their new monarch, personifying it as a queen. As the "'most precious ... stone in the setting of the diadem' from the art treasures of 'Prussia Germany'", Nefertiti would re-establish the imperial German national identity after 1918. [51] Hitler described the bust as "a unique masterpiece, an ornament, a true treasure", and pledged to build a museum to house it. [13] By the 1970s, the bust had become an issue of national identity to both German states—East Germany and West Germany—created after World War II. [51] In 1999, Nefertiti appeared on an election poster for the green political party Bündnis 90/Die Grünen as a promise for cosmopolitan and multi-cultural environment with the slogan "Strong Women for Berlin!" [38] According to Claudia Breger, another reason that the Nefertiti bust became associated with a German national identity was its place as a rival to the Tutankhamun find by the British, who then ruled Egypt. [38]

The bust became an influence on popular culture with Jack Pierce's make-up work on Elsa Lanchester's iconic hair style in the film Bride of Frankenstein being inspired by it. [52]

Related Research Articles

Hi bybiuniklnin |Name=Akhenaten
buybmpm IV |Alt= Amenophis IV, Naphu(`)rureya, Ikhnaton |Image=GD-EG-Caire-Musée061.JPG |Caption=Statue of Akhenaten in the early Amarna style

Nefertiti Egyptian queen and Great Royal Wife (chief consort) of Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharaoh

Neferneferuaten Nefertiti was an Egyptian queen and the Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharaoh. Nefertiti and her husband were known for a religious revolution, in which they worshiped one god only, Aten, or the sun disc. With her husband, she reigned at what was arguably the wealthiest period of Ancient Egyptian history. Some scholars believe that Nefertiti ruled briefly as Neferneferuaten after her husband's death and before the accession of Tutankhamun, although this identification is a matter of ongoing debate. If Nefertiti did rule as Pharaoh, her reign was marked by the fall of Amarna and relocation of the capital back to the traditional city of Thebes.

Tiye Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III

Tiye was the daughter of Yuya and Tjuyu. She became the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III. She was the mother of Akhenaten and grandmother of Tutankhamun. In 2010, DNA analysis confirmed her as the mummy known as "The Elder Lady" found in the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV35) in 1898.

Ankhkheperure Smenkhkare Djeser Kheperu was a short-lived pharaoh in the late 18th dynasty. The names of this pharaoh translate as 'Living are the Forms of Re' and 'Vigorous is the Soul of Re – Holy of Forms'. His or her reign, for it is uncertain whether Smenkhkare was male or female, was during the Amarna Period, a time when Akhenaten sought to impose new religious views. He or she is sometimes distinguished from the immediate predecessor (successor?), the female ruler Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten. Unlike Neferneferuaten, Smenkhkare did not use epithets in his or her royal name or cartouche.

Kiya ancient Egyptian queen consort

Kiya was one of the wives of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten. Little is known about her, and her actions and roles are poorly documented in the historical record, in contrast to those of Akhenaten's first royal wife, Nefertiti. Her unusual name suggests that she may originally have been a Mitanni princess. Surviving evidence demonstrates that Kiya was an important figure at Akhenaten's court during the middle years of his reign, when she bore him a daughter. She disappears from history a few years before her royal husband's death. In previous years, she was thought to be mother of Tutankhamun, but recent DNA evidence suggests this is unlikely.

Ay Egyptian Pharaoh of the late 18th Dynasty (14th century BCE)

Ay was the penultimate Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt's 18th dynasty. He held the throne of Egypt for a brief four-year period, although he was a close advisor to two and perhaps three of the pharaohs who ruled before him and is thought to have been the power behind the throne during Tutankhamun's reign. Ay's prenomen or royal name—Kheperkheperure—means "Everlasting are the Manifestations of Ra" while his birth name Ay it-netjer reads as "Ay, Father of the God". Records and monuments that can be clearly attributed to Ay are rare, not only due to his short length of reign, but also because his successor, Horemheb, instigated a campaign of damnatio memoriae against him and other pharaohs associated with the unpopular Amarna Period.

Meritaten ancient Egyptian queen consort

Meritaten, also spelled Merytaten or Meryetaten, was an ancient Egyptian royal woman of the Eighteenth dynasty. Her name means "She who is beloved of Aten", Aten being the sun-deity whom her father, Pharaoh Akhenaten, worshipped. She held several titles, performing official roles for her father and becoming the Great Royal Wife to Pharaoh Smenkhkare, who may have been a brother or son of Akhenaten. Meritaten also may have served as pharaoh in her own right under the name, Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten.

Egyptian Museum of Berlin part of the Neues Museum, collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts

The Egyptian Museum of Berlin is home to one of the world's most important collections of Ancient Egyptian artifacts, including the iconic Nefertiti Bust. Since October 2009, the collection is part of the reopened Neues Museum on Berlin's Museum Island.

Amarna art

Amarna art, or the Amarna style, is a style adopted in the Amarna Period during and just after the reign of Akhenaten in the late Eighteenth Dynasty, during the New Kingdom. Whereas Ancient Egyptian art was famously slow to alter, the Amarna style was a significant and sudden break from its predecessor, which was restored after Akhenaten's death. It is characterized by a sense of movement and activity in images, with figures having raised heads, many figures overlapping and many scenes busy and crowded. The human body is portrayed differently; figures, always shown in profile on reliefs, are slender, swaying, with exaggerated extremities. In particular, depictions of Akhenaten give him distinctly feminine qualities such as large hips, prominent breasts, and a larger stomach and thighs. Other pieces, such as the most famous of all Amarna works, the Nefertiti Bust in Berlin, show much less pronounced features of the style.

Ankhkheperure-mery-Neferkheperure/ -mery-Waenre/ -mery-Aten Neferneferuaten was a name used to refer to either Meritaten or, more likely, Nefertiti.

The succession of kings at the end of the Eighteenth dynasty of Ancient Egypt is a matter of great debate and confusion. There are very few contemporary records that can be relied upon, due to the nature of the Amarna Period and the reign of Akhenaten and his successors and possible co-regents. It is known that Akhenaten reigned for seventeen years, and it was previously believed that in the last 3 or 4 years, he had two co-regents: Smenkhkare, who was possibly his brother or son, and Neferneferuaten, who was either one of his daughters or his Great Royal Wife Nefertiti. It is unknown in which order they followed each other, and neither of their reigns lasted long, for Tutankhamun succeeded not long after Akhenaten's death.

Gustave Lefebvre was a French Egyptologist. As Inspector for Middle Egypt for the Egyptian Antiquities Service headed by Gaston Maspero, he managed the partage of Ludwig Borchardt’s excavations at el-Amarna, Egypt, on January 20, 1913. Borchardt and Lefebvre had come to an agreement where the artifacts found the year before by Borchardt's team would be split between the German Oriental Company and the country of Egypt "à moitié exacte," or 50-50. The bust of Nefertiti, discovered in the sands of the studio of the sculptor Thutmose, and was a piece that Borchardt wanted for Germany. Recent evidence proves that Borchardt manipulated his way into keeping the bust. Borchardt first showed the Egyptian official a photograph of the bust "that didn't show Nefertiti in her best light". In the accompanying documents, the object was listed as a painted plaster bust of a princess. When Gustave Lefebvre came for inspection, the bust was tightly wrapped up in the bottom of a box. The document reveals that Borchardt claimed the bust was made of gypsum to mislead the inspector. Borchardt was one of the leading Egyptologists in the world, and knew that the bust was actually made out of limestone. The bust was one of the artifacts at the top of the exchange list but was never asked for by the Egyptians in 1913. The bust of Nefertiti was granted to Germany according to the provisions of Law No. 14 of 1912, and is today a primary exhibition of the Neues Museum in Berlin. Time Magazine lists the bust of Nefertiti as one of the world's top 10 plundered artifacts

The Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt is classified as the first dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt, the era in which ancient Egypt achieved the peak of its power. The Eighteenth Dynasty spanned the period from 1549/1550 to 1292 BC. This dynasty is also known as the Thutmosid Dynasty for the four pharaohs named Thutmose.

Stela of Akhenaten and his family

The Stela of Akhenaten and his family is the name for an altar image in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo which depicts the Pharaoh Akhenaten, his queen Nefertiti, and their three children. The limestone stela with the inventory number JE 44865 is 43.5 × 39 cm in size and was discovered by Ludwig Borchardt in Haoue Q 47 at Tell-el Amarna in 1912. When the archaeological finds from Tell-el Amarna were divided on 20 January 1913, Gustave Lefebvre chose this object on behalf of the Egyptian Superintendency for Antiquities instead of the Bust of Nefertiti.

Tina Haim-Wentscher also: Tina Haim-Wentcher was a German-Australian sculptress.

The Standing Figure of Nefertiti is a limestone sculpture of Queen Nefertiti, dating from the year 1350 BC. It is in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin. The queen's depiction is typical of the early Amarna Period. She is wearing sandals and a transparent robe. The figure was found in multiple pieces in 1920 during an excavation by the German Oriental Society in the remains of the studio of Thutmose. As a Great Royal Wife, Nefertiti has a special role in the history of Ancient Egypt. For this reason various representations of her have been preserved, although complete statues are rare.


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Tyldesley, Joyce (2018). Nefertiti's Face: The Creation of an Icon. Harvard University Press. ISBN   978-0-674-98375-5.