Face of Egyptian queen Nefertiti remade in 3D sparks “whitewash” backlash

A3D model of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti’s face has sparked a race row – with many claiming it should be darker. Working with the mummy, scientists from the University of Bristol brought the 3,400-year-old Queen – thought to be Tutankhamun’s mother – to life using 3D imaging technology.

Then, paleoartist Elisabeth Dayes recreated Nefertiti’s face on the bust, with the entire process taking more than 500 hours.”This remarkable face seems to be consistent with ancient representations of Nefertiti,” said Aidan Dodson, an Egyptologist at Bristol University who was involved in the project.

The badly damaged mummy of the woman nicknamed the “Younger Lady” was uncovered in a tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings in 1898.Nefertiti was believed to have been queen alongside Pharaoh Akhenaten from 1353 to 1336 BC, and may have gone on to rule Egypt herself after her husband.

Her iconic bust, believed to be created around 1340 BC, was rediscovered in 1912 and is now displayed in the Neues Museum in Berlin.But, the latest 3D replica of her face is notably different: depicting a lighter skin tone, which some people claim is inaccurate.

“How arrogant must you be to convince yourself that Ancient Egypt was full of white people without a black person in sight?” tweeted activist Preston Mitchum.”Nefertiti, I’m sorry what they are trying to do to you.”

Meanwhile, Lagos-based singer Jon Ogah said this representation of the queen was not her “true black self.

“Others on Twitter also chimed in, poking fun at the model’s skin tone and labeling it a “lie.” A similar debate was prompted by the recent revelation that Britain’s oldest complete skeleton (known as Cheddar Man) had “dark to black” skin, based on a groundbreaking DNA analysis.

The skin tone outrage aside, the new bust is being praised for its accurate depiction of the queen’s muscle tone and skin tissue depth.

“Nefertiti is remembered as one of the most beautiful women in history, but her accomplishments are anything but skin deep,” She was a powerful pharaoh and ruled during one of the most prosperous times in the ancient world.But like many of history’s most important female figures, her legacy has been obscured” said Josh Gates, host of the Travel Channel’s Expedition Unknown, the show on which Nefertiti’s new face was unveiled.


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