Nefertiti, royal wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten, is one of the most famous queens of Egypt. Famous for its beauty – notably through a painted bust dating from the 14the century before our era – Nefertiti is however far from having revealed all her secrets. Starting with his tomb and his mummy, which archaeologists are struggling to find. Till today?
In an article published in Newsweek, the eminent Egyptologist Zahi Hawass, who has been excavating ancient tombs for decades, claims to have finally found this legendary mummy. While many expected the remains of Nefertiti, who died in 1331 BC. J.-C., still lie in a large chamber hidden in the tomb of King Tutankhamun, the Egyptologist ensures that the mummy had in fact been discovered in… 1817.
On this date, Giovanni Belzoni, Venetian explorer and Egyptologist, updated a tomb, called KV21, located in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Its content? Two mysterious mummies, still unidentified. Today, thanks to modern techniques, Zahi Hawass is convinced that he will soon reveal their identity: Nefertiti on one side, and Ankhesenamun, his daughter, on the other. A certainty according to him, especially since was also discovered in a nearby burial, the KV35, the mummy of a 10-year-old boy. “If this child is the brother of Tutankhamun and the son of Akhenaten, the problem posed by Nefertiti will be solved”concludes the Egyptologist.
Nefertiti, more than a queen
While Nefertiti is best known for the many praises of her beauty that have passed through the ages, she was also an influential queen. She had her say in state affairs and in the establishment of the cult of Aten – this God erected into a single cult by Akhenaten in the 14th century.e century before our era, causing a real upheaval in the country.
Nefertiti also enjoys a status and visibility that no other woman has known in Egyptian history, explains National Geographic. It is represented on buildings, in sculpture and it even becomes a sort of “chief priestess and ideological muse” to the glory of Aten, which stabilizes the reign of the reforming pharaoh in place.
For some, she even pulled the strings of power to lead the country after Akhenaten’s death. Yet another mystery for Egyptologists to solve.