The ancient bust of Nefertiti has fascinated people since its discovery more than a century ago. The roughly 3,360-year-old sculpture is an epitome of beauty containing many secrets.
The bust of Nefertiti was rescued from rubble and sand during the excavation of a sculptor's workshop in 1912. About 3,360 years ago, the sculptor Thutmose created the work from limestone, gypsum, wax and rock crystal. The word "Nefertiti" is said to mean "the beautiful one has come forth."
Nefertiti was the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten, who proclaimed a new state religion during his rule in the 14th century B.C.: Instead of many gods,there was only one,the god of light, called Aten. In his honor, Akhenaten founded a new capital, Akhetaten, or Horizon of Light.
Today the city is called Amarna. The new, monotheistic religion radically changed not only Egyptian society, but also the way people were represented in art. The colored bust of Nefertiti is a good example of this.
German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt and his team discovered many other ancient art treasures in Amarna close to where they found the bust. Nefertiti has been in Berlin since 1913, residing among other places in the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection.
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