Nefertiti Had a 'Facelift'

Better nose, fewer wrinkles
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 20, 2010 2:05 AM CDT
Researchers have discovered another, likely more accurate, version of Nefertiti within this bust.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)
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(Newser) – It turns out the lovely Nefertiti wasn't quite the sylph-like sphynx we all imagine her to be. The sun-worshiping Egyptian queen appears to be the beneficiary of what amounts to ancient Photoshopping, notes the Independent. A 3,000-year-old bust of Nefertiti in a Berlin museum that the world knows as her face was altered to make her appear more beautiful, researchers have discovered. Scans of the bust of the queen, who died in 1330 BC, show an earlier "pre-facelift" image within the sculpture. "That statue is still very beautiful, but not as beautiful," explained the lead researcher.

"It showed her nose was bent, and that she had wrinkles around her eyes. It's a real portrait of a real woman." Nefertiti—whose name means "the beautiful one has come"—was the wife of the Pharaoh Akhenaten and likely mother of Tutenkhamen. Scholars believe she may have shared power with the pharaoh and possibly reigned after his death. Her tomb has never been discovered, but scientists now hope that the more "realistic" version of her face may help them spot her image painted on her mummified remains.

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