Friday, July 29, 2011


Nefertiti (the name is an Egyptian phrase meaning "The Beautiful One Who Has Come") was the Great Wife and Queen of Akhenaten.  If the bust of Her found abandoned in the sculptor's studio in Amarna is a true likeness She indeed was beautiful enough to deserve such a name. Her origin has been the subject of much speculation. The discovery that Nefertiti had an Egyptian wet-nurse leaves little doubt that She was born in Egypt. It is unclear who Nefertiti´s parents were. It is sometimes suggested that Nefertiti was the daughter of Queen Tiye and Amenhotep III (making Her a Sister or Step-Sister of Akhenaten).

When Amenohotep III died around 1375 BC, he was succeeded by Akhenaten. During the first six years of His reign, the record shows that it was Nefertiti, who was the master of all Egypt. Nefertiti and Akhenaten had six daughters; many family portraits have survived and all are remarkable in their display of affection. Nefertiti clearly, was greatly loved by the Pharaoh, and had a very prominent role in the political life of Egypt.

Akhenaten is regularly depicted displaying affection for Nefertiti and their Daughters in an unrestrained show of emotion which is pretty much unique to Egyptian Art. In one inscription the King described His Beloved Queen as;

"The Mistress of Happiness, Endowed with Favors, at hearing whose voice the King rejoices, the Chief Wife of the King, His beloved, the Lady of the Two Lands, Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti, May She live for Ever and Always".

There can be no doubt that this was a loving, closely knit family.

Throughout the Eighteenth Dynasty Royal Women played a significant and visible role in State and Political affairs. Nefertiti continued this tradition by actively assisting Her husband in his attempt to convert Egypt to The Law of One.  No look at the life of Nefertiti would be complete without a acknowledgment of this revolution.

She was pictured killing the enemies of Egypt in a scene normally reserved for Pharaohs and She was shown with Her husband awarding gold to Royal favorites at the Window of Appearance.

By Year 14 of Akhenaten's reign Nefertiti had disappeared from view. She allegedly died at the age of 35, yet there is no record of her death nor has her mummy or place of burial been found. Many have speculated that Nefertiti changed Her name to Smenkhkare, adopted the guise of a man, and ruled as Co-Regent with Her Husband. Akhenaten died about Year 17 under mysterious circumstances. Smenkhkare appears to have been co-regent for three years and to have died either just before or just after Akhenaten.

The fame that Nefertiti has gained over the years in modern times maybe contributed to a great extent to the discovery of its Statue known as Nefertiti bust which was found in Amarna Egypt in 1912. The original famous Nefertiti bust was found among other unfinished busts by the German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt who led a team of the German Oriental company (Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft). It was shipped to Germany in 1913 where it was kept in the residence of James Simon the sponsor of the excavation and then moved to the Berlin Museum the same year but was kept a secret until finally displayed in 1924. The bust moved to several locations in Germany. It is currently displayed in the Neues Museum Berlin.
The bust of Nefertiti height is 47 cm and weighs around 20 kg (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.
There has been intense discussions about the repatriation of the Nefertiti bust to Egypt. Ever since the unveil of the discovery of the Nefertiti bust, there have been Negotiations between the Egyptian and German governments to return the bust to Egypt as the bust was moved illegally to Germany but it has not been decided yet by the German authorities if the bust would be returned to Egypt.
Both Egypt and Berlin view the Nefertiti bust as a symbol of  them and as it has been a precious item to possess, each party refuses to step back on its demand to have it on its land.

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