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A Beautiful Woman Has Come

October 7, 2015

 

The Internet is buzzing with the possibility of a great discovery. Is the tomb of Nefertiti about to be discovered? Has this co-regent of ancient Egypt, once described as the most beautiful and powerful woman on Earth, whose name translates as A Beautiful Woman Has Come, once more about to make history?

           

In the fourteenth century B.C., she and her pharaoh husband Akhenaton, rocked their civilization by sweeping away the pantheon of Egyptian gods to make room for the worship of a single god symbolized by the sun, the Aten. For twelve years, her husband went to great lengths to present her as co-ruler, having her depicted wearing the crown of a pharaoh. Suddenly, she vanished from history. Did she die, or fall out of favor? Many people today believe she didn’t disappear at all, simply changed her name to Smenkhkare and reigned over Egypt as pharaoh after her husband died, ruling until her death when Tutankhamun, either her son or stepson, was about three years old.

           

An astonishing lifelike bust, discovered early in the twentieth century, has made Nefertiti famous in our time, and it’s possible she is about to create an even greater sensation. Her tomb has never been found. In fact, the only royal tomb discovered intact was that of the young and relatively poor boy king Tutankhamun, better known as King Tut, who was buried on the cheap after his sudden death at eighteen. In contrast, Nefertiti was fabulously wealthy and the most powerful ruler in the ancient world. Unlike Tut, she had years to amass a fortune to take with her into the afterlife. It’s possible her tomb is about to be discovered. If true, it’s been right under our noses.

           

An American archeologist has discovered markings in King Tut’s tomb that suggest a hidden door. Wall painting in the tomb also appear feminine, better suited for the eternal resting place of a queen rather than a king. Is it possible this tomb was never intended for Tut, but was in fact Nefertiti’s tomb? If so, why would a queen be buried in The Valley of the Kings? Could it be that she chose to be buried here because she’d reigned as pharaoh? She and her late husband proved they were unconventional by prompting a religious revolution, and as co-ruler she was known to dress like a man. It isn’t a stretch to think she broke tradition by ordering a tomb here. It’s also possible that Tut didn’t live long enough to build a tomb of his own and was hastily interred in the antechambers of a tomb designed for Nefertiti.

           

The discovery of King Tut was a cultural phenomenon in 1922, sparking interest in ancient Egypt that continues to this very day. The Egyptian government believes it likely that hidden rooms exist in Tut’s tomb, although they won’t speculate on who, if anyone, might be buried within. The tomb, a wildly popular tourist attraction, has been closed. Beginning in November, X-rays of the walls will begin.           

           

Thirty-five hundred years after her death, we might discover Nefertiti’s remains, enabling us to determine if she was Tut’s mother. Recovered portraits and personal items could pierce her sphinx-like expression and bring us closer to the flesh and blood presence of this legendary beauty. The discovery of Nefertiti would almost certainly overshadow that accompanying Tut’s discovery, with the site becoming even more famous as Nefertiti’s tomb.

           

When I was a teenager I had a cheap plaster cast of Nefertiti in my room. I remember pretending she was smiling at me. It stirs my imagination to think it possible that very soon we will be able to say, as was once proclaimed in ancient Egypt—a beautiful woman has come….

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

28 Comments
That would be a major discovery. If she broke traditions, it's very likely she's buried there.
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on October 7, 2015
my mother has a reproduction of the Nerfertiti bust that she kept on her bed side table. I always loved it and have not idea what happened to it. wouldn't it be exciting if they do find her tomb.
By: Ellen Abbott on October 7, 2015
Once again some interesting history from the Oregon Chatterbox. I have heard of Nerfertiti, but as a kid we mostly just giggled over her name pronounced with a short "I".
By: cranky on October 7, 2015
this is very exciting! Wouldn't it be something to discover!
By: Kathe W. on October 7, 2015
You've got me all excited about this woman coming! Let's hope she does!
By: LL Cool Joe on October 7, 2015
If this plays out as you suggest. It would be an amazing find. What I also find amazing is your amazing historical knowledge. Do you spend any length of time in libraries researching? ;-)
By: Daniel LaFrance on October 7, 2015
I didn't even know about this. It's great! El-Sisi surely had a hand in the renewed interest as he's doing all he can to bring in money to Egypt and improve its economy (something the idiot Muslim Brotherhood had zero interest in or understanding of). Witness the new Suez Canal. Engineers told him it'd take 3-5 years. He demanded it be done in one - and succeeded. He's doing all he can to set Egypt on the road to recovery but all I ever see in the media is how he's a dictator and criticism from human rights groups. The Middle East is a hotbed of religious extremism, and it needs a strong leader to fight them. (Sorry for the political rant. International media pisses me off. They have tunnel vision.)
By: Lexa Cain on October 7, 2015
I read about this recently. It is a very exciting discovery if it is, in fact, true.
By: Catalyst on October 7, 2015
What interesting speculation about this woman. Perhaps discovering her tomb will shine a light on the real story but somehow I feel we will never know.
By: Akansas Patti on October 7, 2015
i can imagine tourists flocking to take selfies with her tomb.
By: TexWisGirl on October 7, 2015
We can only hope it's true!
By: messymimi on October 7, 2015
It could be a remarkable and historic discovery. I wonder though how knowing more about here will affect what is now a mythical and romantic notion. Will it affect her allure?
By: tom Cochrun on October 7, 2015
I asked my son, who used to be our resident expert on all things ancient and pyramid-y, what he knew of this, but he's playing dumb. So I will take your word for it, and usurp the crown of resident ancient pyramid-y expert.
By: Val on October 7, 2015
We saw the statue of Nefertiti in a museum in Germany--it was exquisite!!
By: fishducky on October 7, 2015
At the risk of sounding a bit snarky ... do you think in 4000 years they'll be digging up the tomb of Hillary Clinton? But seriously, I saw the King Tut exhibit when it came to NY in the late '70s; it was amazing. So I hope they do find Nefertiti.
By: Tom Sightings on October 7, 2015
Interesting speculation.Scientists keep digging and once in awhile they find something very valuable.
By: red on October 7, 2015
How interesting and exciting! I always thought if time travel were possible, this time in history would be first on my list to visit.
By: Pixel Peeper on October 7, 2015
I'll be anxiously waiting to see it anything comes of the upcoming x-rays. Thanks for the history lesson. :)
By: Scott Park on October 7, 2015
How exciting. I hope she was perhaps the world's first true feminist (a female Pharoah). Thanks for writing about this, Stephen. I had no idea. You explained it so clearly, and I'm very curious. I also hope Steve Martin makes a new song about "King Nefertiti, the woman king."
By: Robyn Engel on October 7, 2015
Archaeology has always fascinated me, and after becoming acquainted with the Stargate science-fiction world, ancient Egypt has taken on a new fascination. For in the Stargate world, an evil alien race built most of the ancient Egyptian culture (along with that of the Greeks, Romans, Sumerians, Chinese, etc.). The Egyptian pyramids were actually landing pads for the alien ships, and much of this galaxy was populated with humans taken from Earth as slaves to distant planets. It might be your cup of tea, but I found the intermixing of historical reality with science fiction quite interesting.
By: Jerry E. Beuterbaugh on October 7, 2015
Fascinating!
By: John on October 8, 2015
Well that would be so cool. I'm always impressed by your knowledge of history.. thanks for sharing that.
By: Hilary on October 8, 2015
Interesting stuff, particularly as it was only 4 months ago I was in King Tut's tomb. I wish I'd read this before I went so I could have looked for hints of other tombs around the walls of the cave.
By: Bryan Jones on October 8, 2015
I really hope this turns out to be true. What an amazing find it would be.
By: Mitchell is Moving on October 9, 2015
I did read this article on the web news but you have written it in a much more interesting light. I can't wait untl this comes out regardless of the outcome. It's fascinatinhg. What an incredible woman she was!
By: Bouncin Barb on October 9, 2015
That is fascinating.
By: Rick Watson on October 9, 2015
I was always intrigued by her because she was so beautiful as the bust portrays and some other images that have since been found . Her long neck is a big giveaway. She reminds me of an ancient Audrey Hepburn in looks anyway. This will be an amazing find if true. Funny, my hubby watched a show where some historians believe this sculpture is actually fake. My hubby mentioned it was quite good and possible. This would be a major Ouch to the Berlin Art museum
By: Birgit on October 10, 2015
Fascinating!
By: The Bug on October 15, 2015

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