Friday, 27 November 2015

Tutankhamun: gold mask made for Nefertiti?

British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves has found new evidence suggesting the death mask of ancient Egyptian king Tutankhamun was not made for him – in fact, it was made for his stepmother, Queen Nefertiti. Reeves points to a cartouche (royal name stamp) that appears to have been retouched as evidence. The stamp conceals traces of another name: Ankhkheprure Nefernefruaten, which can be translated to Queen Nefertiti.
Other features that back his conclusion include the presence of pierced ears. In almost all other ancient Egyptian depictions, pierced ears were a feature only reserved for queens and children.

The discovery was made possible by an accident involving the mask’s beard being broken off and hastily glued back on by an employee of the Egyptian Museum in January.
This is the second time this year Reeves has shaken up the archaeological community. In October, he studied ultra high-resolution images and believed he found clues in the walls of Tutankhamun's burial chamber of having been painted over with scenes depicting the young Pharaoh’s life, as well as hidden doors that may lead to the discovery of Nefertiti's final resting place.

Tutankhamun was made a pharaoh when he was nine years old and died at 18. His step-mother, Nefertiti, was the wife of Egypt's most controversial pharaoh, Akhenaten. Nefertiti is widely regarded as the most beautiful woman of ancient Egypt, but the cause of her death and final resting place remains a mystery.