Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Nefertiti's 3,300-year-old royal makeover - Science- msnbc.com

Nefertiti's 3,300-year-old royal makeover - Science- msnbc.com:
"BERLIN - Researchers in Germany have used a modern medical procedure to uncover a secret within one of ancient Egypt's most treasured artworks — the bust of Nefertiti has two faces.

A team led by Dr. Alexander Huppertz, director of the Imaging Science Institute at Berlin's Charite hospital and medical school, discovered a detailed stone carving that differs from the external stucco face when they performed a computed tomography, or CT, scan on the bust. ..."

In Fall of 1968 I traveled to West Berlin with my Explorer unit (BSA) and among the places we visited was a museum in which I came face to face with the bust of Nefertiti. This was somewhat exciting to me as it was pictured in my world history textbook from Heidelberg American High School, thus providing me a real world link with ancient history. Did I see the real Nefertiti or a copy? I can't remember the building in which I saw it, but its current location is the Altes Museum.

The bust is a thin layer of stucco over a stone core, and what is intriguing archaeologists is that the stone core is a detailed bust of Nefertiti as well -- with some differences. Computer Tomography (CT scan) was used to show the detailed sculpture below. Previously, the stone core was thought to be merely a support for the stucco.

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