Saturday, July 28, 2007

Nefertiti had wrinkles

Wrinkles improved the face of Nefertiti, the pharaonic Egyptian queen acclaimed as the world's most beautiful woman, German scientists have discovered. The 3,000-year-old bust of Nefertiti is the greatest treasure at Berlin's Altes Museum. X-ray pictures of the bust by a computer tomography machine at the nearby Charite Hospital in Berlin revealed that the sculpture is a piece of limestone with details added using four outer layers of plaster of Paris. "We have discovered that the sculptor later added gentle wrinkles to her face, especially around the eyes," said Dietrich Wildung, director of the Museum of Egyptology housed in the upper storey of the Altes Museum. "The wrinkles make the image more individual and expressive." The scientists speculate that Nefertiti, who would have sat for the sculptor, herself approved the older look. Wildung said he received the revelation a year ago that the serene face, which today lacks one eye, was not quite as smooth as it looked.

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