'Inner statue' under Nefertiti bust?

Nov. 5, 2009 at 8:42 PM

TRIESTE, Italy, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Italian scientists say CAT scans have helped them uncover an "inner statue" under one of the world's best-known faces, the bust of Queen Nefertiti of Egypt.

The bust, about 3,400 years old, was discovered in 1912 by German archaeologists in what had been the workshop of the sculptor Thutmose. It is now in the Neues Museum in Berlin.

Franco Crevatin , an ethnologist at Trieste University, and Stefano Anselmo, an expert in the history of cosmetics, have created a computer-generated image they believe is closer to Nefertiti's actual face than the one shown in the finished statue. Their findings were published this month in Focus Storia, a history journal.

The researchers added skin color to the image picked up by CAT scans and studied surviving Egyptian portraits of Nefertiti's relatives. Their image makes the queen's nose somewhat less perfect and adds laugh lines around her mouth. The cheekbones are less dramatic and the eyes shallower.

''Reproducing the face of a queen who is surrounded by such mystery required months of painstaking, detailed work,'' Crevatin said.

Nefertiti was married to Amenhotep IV, who changed his name to Akhenaten when he introduced the worship of the sun god.

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