Written by Frank Cotolo
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Topics: british, Italy

Sunday, 30 May 2004

image for British dig likely uncovers Egyptian queen 'Nef'
The tomb of King Tut

NIASPOTA, Italy -- A British Egyptologist said the that her team may have identified the mummy of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, the wife and co-ruler with pharaoh Akhenaten, stepmother to legendary boy King Tutankhamun and the first queen to ever wear eye make up.

Joann Fletcher, a mummification specialist from the University of York in England led the expedition. She said her team may have found Nefertiti in a secret chamber in Egypt's Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

Nefertiti, which mummy fans know means "the beautiful woman has come," has been considered one of the most powerful women of ancient Egypt. Her tomb was found near that of King Tut, the teenage king who ruled Egypt in the 14th century B.C. and the kid who coined the phrase "Who's the king around here, anyway?"

Fletcher said, "Although we can only suggest the identity as a strong possibility, the findings certainly have some wide-ranging implications for Egyptology."

And another expedition member from an entirely different expedition, said, "I wish I had found Nef. I'm jealous as hell of Fletch."

Nefertiti, history reads, had a high status during her husband's reign. Like her husband, Nefertiti's name was erased from historical records and her likeness defaced after her death. This is believed to be because during her reign she insisted she was king and mocked her husband in public places by showing people how he danced when no one was looking.

The mummy found that is believed to be Nefertiti had a swan-like neck comparable to the queen, despite post-mortem blows to her face. She got those, some historians write, "Because after her husband had her killed he placed her body in a public place and danced upon her face before thirty thousand slaves, making them all chant, 'Nef is a slut.' "

Fletcher also found other physical links to the mummy being 'Nef,' including the impression of a tight-fitting browband she is said to have once wore, a double-pierced ear lobe and a shaved head. Nefertiti was one of only two of Egypt's royal women believed to have worn two earrings in each ear, black stockings in the daytime, a scarf around her ankles and a tattoo of a donkey on her left arm.

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