Detective Work Finds Egyptian Queen Nefertiti

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Jenn

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Jun 20, 2001, 7:27:39 PM6/20/01
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Detective Work Finds Egyptian Queen

By Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News

June 19 — Nefertiti, the most famous queen of ancient Egypt except for
Cleopatra, was 4 foot 8 inches (1.45 meters) tall, had long luxurious wavy
hair, a hyperelongated neck and fine features that matched her legendary
beauty.

The portrait emerged with the claim of Susan James, an Egyptologist trained
at Cambridge, U.K., appearing in the current issue of KMT, A Modern Journal
of Ancient Egypt.
Little is known about the "Great Royal Wife" of the heretic pharaoh
Akhenaten, the immediate precursor — and, according to some scholars, the
father — of Tutankhamun. No record survives to detail her death; no monument
mourned her passing.

According to James, the long-sought mummy of Nefertiti has rested disguised
under the catalog name of "mummy 61070." The mummy, better known as "Elder
Woman," was discovered in 1898 by French archaeologist Victor Loret in a
cache of royal mummies.

The female body was lying on the floor of a side room off..............

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20010618/nefertiti.html

--
Jenn

Brian (not wanting to be a messiah): "You are all individuals..."
Crowd (in unison): "We are all individuals..."
Monty Python's "Life Of Brian"

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

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Jun 20, 2001, 9:32:50 PM6/20/01
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On Wed, 20 Jun 2001 23:27:39 GMT, "Jenn"
<moon...@mailandnews.copyright2001allrightsreserved!> in
alt.archaeology, wrote the following:

>Detective Work Finds Egyptian Queen

> http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20010618/nefertiti.html

Well, it's James' conclusion, as the news article says, and she's basing
it upon two factors:

a)  the age at death of the Elder Lady appears to be no greater than 35
years of age; and

b)  she claims there is a "resemblance" between the mummy's face and the
known sculptures of Nefertiti.

As someone pointed out elsewhere, when one views most mummies they all
appear to have "long necks," for example. In other words, can one trust
merely what "resembles" a painting or sculpture in Egyptian art? What
about those images or sculptures that don't resemble the mummy, for
example, but are attested textually as Nefertiti -- then what? Are
they false, or is one merely making their 'identification' as factual,
based upon what one subjectively sees? It seems to be a slippery slope
to merely assert an identification based upon what "resembles" one item
to another (especially when one fails to acknowledge the iconographic
nature of Egyptian art, I think).

I would call neither or James' statements as "conclusive," and while DNA
matching _might_ indicate there was a relationship between this mummy
and say, Tutankhamun, this still _wouldn't_ be conclusive, I think.  It
has been presumed for some years the Elder Lady likely was related to
Tutankhamun in _some_ fashion, since a locket of hair (apparently from
the same mummy) was found in Tut's tomb.  This has implied he had it in
there for "sentimental" reasons.  However, both Tiye and Nefertiti could
fit this situation, as well as possibly the remains are those of Kiya
(also an unexplored possibility).  Satamun is another possibility as
well.

Of interest to me is this: IF the body of Elder Lady is that of
Nefertiti, then who is, possibly, the mummy also found with Elder Lady
in KV 35, referred to as "Younger Woman?"  There seems to have been a
presumption that Elder Lady, Younger Woman and a Boy with Sidelock were
buried as a family group.  Now, the mystery would fall to assigning
these bodies a name as well, IMO.

Also, just to add more confusion, one also has to recall "Elder Lady"
was found positioned in a typically queenly fashion, with left arm drawn
to the chest, and right arm by her side.  IF Nefertiti is Elder Lady,
this would possibly argue against her being "King Neferneferuaten," who
ruled as a "male king."  If the body of the Younger Woman is a daughter
of Nefertiti, such as Meritaten, her positioning with both arms down by
her sides also might argue against _her_ being "King Smenkhkare" (a
present popular theory) as well.

So, rather than explain all we need to know about the Amarna Period,
James' speculation seems to open more questions than it answers.

Regards --

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

Member, American Research Center in Egypt
International Association of Egyptologists

University of Alabama at Birmingham
Special Studies

http://www.griffis-consulting.com

Reading mail from me in a Usenet group does not
grant you the right to send me unsolicited commercial e-mail.
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Suzanne

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Jun 22, 2001, 10:16:44 PM6/22/01
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"Katherine Griffis-Greenberg" <egy...@griffis-consulting.com> wrote in message
news:gni2jt46gjqtjl2rq...@4ax.com...

> On Wed, 20 Jun 2001 23:27:39 GMT, "Jenn"
> <moon...@mailandnews.copyright2001allrightsreserved!> in
> alt.archaeology, wrote the following:
>
> >Detective Work Finds Egyptian Queen
>
> > http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20010618/nefertiti.html
>
> Well, it's James' conclusion, as the news article says, and she's basing
> it upon two factors:
>
> a) the age at death of the Elder Lady appears to be no greater than 35
> years of age; and
>
> b) she claims there is a "resemblance" between the mummy's face and the
> known sculptures of Nefertiti.
>
> As someone pointed out elsewhere, when one views most mummies they all
> appear to have "long necks," for example. In other words, can one trust
> merely what "resembles" a painting or sculpture in Egyptian art? What
> about those images or sculptures that don't resemble the mummy, for
> example, but are attested textually as Nefertiti -- then what? Are
> they false, or is one merely making their 'identification' as factual,
> based upon what one subjectively sees? It seems to be a slippery slope
> to merely assert an identification based upon what "resembles" one item
> to another (especially when one fails to acknowledge the iconographic
> nature of Egyptian art, I think).
>
Seems like a reasonable statement, but couldn't they have good artists
then who could capture a likeness? There are some of the rulers that
have quite a few things done of them...enough that someone might
possibly get an idea of what they looked like. Don't you think?
>
Suzanne

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

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Jun 23, 2001, 1:52:41 AM6/23/01
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On Sat, 23 Jun 2001 02:16:44 GMT, "Suzanne" <suzan...@altavista.net>
in alt.history.ancient-egypt, wrote the following:

Egyptian art is not necessarily meant to convey what exists in reality,
but is mean to convey idealizations of youth, beauty, power and so on.
There was a standardized way to portray kings for most of pharaonic
history. During the Amarna period, however, there were even more
problems in rendering the royal form when the "standard canon" was set
aside for a new style which convey all aspects of religion which had
been served by representations of anthropomorphic gods.

So, in the case of Nefertiti, for example, she not only needed to look
like her king (which was part of the Egyptians canon of art, and in many
reliefs it's almost impossible to tell her image apart from Akhenaten's
for example), but in certain reliefs and sculpture her image acquired
all the various functional features of goddesses who were no longer
allowed under Atenism, this becoming herself an iconic figure of
fertility, "wise women" wisdom, avenging/deminic entity, and so on.
Nefertiti in the early p[hases of Atenism specifically had herself
portrayed as Tefnut, which was an early fertility goddess. By the end
of the Amarna Period, she is shown in war poses as Montu would normally
be portrayed, or in "wise woman" Hathoric mode poses, not unlike Tiye
before her.

So, which representation of Nefertiti can be said to be her "true"
representation? We're really not sure. The graceful bust which resides
in the Berlin Egyptian Museum is actually a model which was used to
making other representations of the queen (that is, it was a sculptor's
model), and which was rendered to an almost mathematical precision to be
absolutely symmetrical, for example (this was shown in some detail by
Dorothea Arnold of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in _The Royal Women of
Amarna: Images of Beauty in Ancient Egypt_. (1996). Since, in reality,
and based upon other images of the queen, we know people are not
"absolutely symmetrical," it is thought this piece may be an attempt to
convey a concept of perfection, possibility as a pun upon her name ("The
Beautiful/Perfect One has Arrived").

There is no doubt Egyptian artists were skilled enough to render images
of people and things were a trained artist's eye, but that was not their
function in the society. Like religious art in the Orthodox Christian
churches, each image is conveying a whole host of concepts and didactic
topics that does not necessarily reflect how they looked in reality, nor
was that the goal.

Some references on this topic would be:

Davis, W. _The Canonical Tradition in Ancient Egyptian Art_. 1989.
(Cambridge: Cambridge Univ Press).

Iverson, E. and Shibata Y. _Canon and Proportions in Egyptian Art_.
1975. (Warminster: Aris and Phillips)

Schafer, H. _Principles of Egyptian Art _. 1987/rept of 193 ed, with new
translation by E. Brunner-Traut. (Warminster: Aris and Phillips).

Marianne Luban

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Jun 23, 2001, 8:01:33 AM6/23/01
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Suzanne <suzan...@altavista.net> wrote in message
news:g_SY6.1169$PO2.58...@newssvr17.news.prodigy.com...

> Seems like a reasonable statement, but couldn't they have good artists
> then who could capture a likeness? There are some of the rulers that
> have quite a few things done of them...enough that someone might
> possibly get an idea of what they looked like. Don't you think?

Absolutely. I think the various sculptures of Nefertiti (surely done)
throughout a certain time-span) show a certain consistency and are
probably near enough likenesses. Otherwise, some of them might
not even be recognizable as she, none of them being marked with her
name. The famous bust, now in Berlin, was only known to be
Nefertiti because of the crown, also seen in reliefs where the name of
the queen is actually written.

Egyptian sculptors were wonderfully adept at creating likenesses of
the kings and queens. Anyone who has studied their mummified remains
as closely as I have will realize this. But, the mummy of the "Elder Lady"
is most probably not Nefertiti. I have received some personal messages from
people who are suddenly
convinced that the mummy "The Elder Lady" is Nefertiti because of
Susan James' article in KMT. I see, too, that a major newspaper
carried the story, which may cause others, who don't read too
carefully, to simply accept this equation, as well. I have been told
"Can't you see that the face of the mummy corresponds nearly
exactly to the sculpture of Nefertiti in the magazine?"

My private response has been that almost any Amarna age bust
would appear "nearly exactly" to the mummy's face--and so
one can't place one's hopes too much on such a premise without
other arguments to bolster such a perceived resemblance. I did
the same thing in my Net article "Do We Have the Mummy of
Nefertiti?", which is at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Crete/3102
I think my article made as many valid arguments as that of James
for the "Younger Lady" to be Nefertiti, instead, but I concede my opinion
doesn't carry any weight out there. A lack of the Ph.D, etc.

One of the problems with attempting to identify the mummy of the
"Elder Lady" is that the two photographs we commonly view of
her are not the best. A corpse, after all, isn't too amenable to
posing for pix. The full-face photo seems to have been taken while
looking up the mummy's nostrils and the other, a study in fore-shortening
(artist's term), makes the lady's right jaw seem the closest thing to
the camera while her nose and forehead look diminished as they
gradually recede into the distance.

Added to that, few people have seen the diminutive royal woman
since the beginning of the 19th Century, as she remains in KV35,
where she was found, in a walled-up side chamber. The ZDF
television people (Germany), who had read my web article about
Nefertiti and wanted a look at the Younger Lady, got permission to
film in there--but the chamber was walled-up again with the three
mummies in it, afterward. None of the mummies have been sampled
for DNA. Nevertheless, at some point in the past, someone snipped
a lock of hair from the "Elder Lady's" head and ascertained her
blood type--which is O.

One of the difficulties in identifying any member of the 18th Dynasty is
that the family is inbred. There are common traits--such as the square
jaw mentioned by Susan James ("Younger Lady" and the mask which
surely must be that of Aye have it, too) and the over-bite so prevalent
in the females. Yes, the Elder Lady possesses both of these features.
But the square-jawed Nefertiti she is not, IMO. One thing about that
blown-up photo in KMT is that it enabled me to do the best tracing
of the head so far--which you can view at
http://www.geocities.com/scribelist/elderlady.html

and decide for yourself what you see there.

If the "Elder Lady" had been actually photographed in profile,
it would have been easier to see that she has the aquiline nose of
most of her family members--something the ancient portraits of
Nefertiti appear to lack. Looking long and hard at the photos of
the 18th Dynasty royal mummies has led me to conclude that the
"Elder Lady" most resembles, feature for feature, King Thutmose IV.
Of course, even if the "Elder Lady" happens to be Queen Tiye, she
is still likely to be a relative of Menkheperure. To believe that the
Chief Wife of Amenhotep III was a commoner who had no blood
connection to the royal family is absurd. In the Egyptian tradition,
a pharaoh would have taken a head wife who was no less than a
cousin on the maternal side. Lesser wives and concubines could
come from anywhere, as we know.

Even though a lock of hair found in the tomb of Tutankhamun (and
enclosed in a coffinette bearing the names and titles of Queen Tiye)
matched the hair of the "Elder Lady" microscopically, a problem has
been seen in the relative youth of the mummy at death. In other words,
for her to have been Queen Tiye, there would have had to have been
a long co-regency between Amenhotep III and Akhenaten--plus the
queen would have had to have been wed to her husband as a pre-
pubescent little girl. All of this is possible, of course. Also, I think
the
"EL" does resemble some portraits of Tiye--but here we are going on
impressions again. Moreover, Tiye is represented as a very short person
when standing near her son, Akhenaten--while Nefertiti is not. Sometimes
she is shown nearly as tall as the king. The "EL" measures less than five
feet in height. If by chance the microscopic comparison of the hair
samples proves in error, due perhaps to the unguent poured on the
sample from Tut's tomb, my next choice for the identity would be Queen
Tio--Thutmose IV's mother. Since she was the wife of Amenhotep II,
her being in his tomb, KV35, stands to reason. She has the same forehead
as both Amenhotep II and his son (commented upon by Elliot Smith),
so she can be a sister of the pharaoh, as well. Still, that wouldn't
explain
what Queen Tio's hair was doing in a small case marked "Queen Tiye",
with her special glyphs. The "EL" was a beauty, no question, but
Nefertiti--I
doubt it. We are at an impasse when it comes to identifying the royal
mummies with more certainty and can make no further progress until
the Egyptian authorities decide to put science ahead of politics--and cast
aside fears that the royals are not Egyptians but some kind of Semites
(probably, they are). Instead of running the "Nefertiti" article, I think
KMT should have done a piece about the DNA testing and why it was
halted--making some effort to indicate to the Egyptians that the scientific
community just doesn't accept their rationale for not allowing data to
go forward.


Michael Kuettner

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Jun 23, 2001, 5:42:14 PM6/23/01
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Marianne Luban <mluba...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:xy%Y6.442$Bp1....@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net...
>
<snip>

> Absolutely. I think the various sculptures of Nefertiti (surely
done)
> throughout a certain time-span) show a certain consistency and are
> probably near enough likenesses. Otherwise, some of them might
> not even be recognizable as she, none of them being marked with her
> name. The famous bust, now in Berlin, was only known to be
> Nefertiti because of the crown, also seen in reliefs where the name of
> the queen is actually written.
>
In Germany she is called Nofretete. Why ?
Could you shed some light on the 'vowelling' of Egypt scripts ?
Why do AS-scholars refer to NFRTT as Nefertiti and German ones
as Nofretete ?
Are there some rules ?

<snip very good post>

Thanks. I've saved this one.
Very informative.

Cheers,

Michael Kuettner

Jenn

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Jun 23, 2001, 6:35:32 PM6/23/01
to
During Akhenaten's
rein, didn't art become more naturalistic? It is said Akhenaten was an
eccentric who didn't like flattering depictions of himself or his queen,
which is why his unusual appearance, the large lips and the large hips are
often noted! Given Akhenaten's radicalism in Art and Religion aren't
Nefertit's depictions likely to be rather accurate.

"Katherine Griffis-Greenberg" <egy...@griffis-consulting.com> wrote in

message news:3v98jtshr9q4fuva1...@4ax.com...

Marianne Luban

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Jun 23, 2001, 11:38:53 PM6/23/01
to

Michael Kuettner <mik...@eunet.at> wrote in message
news:Em8Z6.72$9r....@nreader1.kpnqwest.net...

>
> Marianne Luban <mluba...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:xy%Y6.442$Bp1....@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net...
> >
> <snip>
> > Absolutely. I think the various sculptures of Nefertiti (surely
> done)
> > throughout a certain time-span) show a certain consistency and are
> > probably near enough likenesses. Otherwise, some of them might
> > not even be recognizable as she, none of them being marked with her
> > name. The famous bust, now in Berlin, was only known to be
> > Nefertiti because of the crown, also seen in reliefs where the name of
> > the queen is actually written.
> >
> In Germany she is called Nofretete. Why ?

I am not sure, and although I have done quite a lot of research in
Egyptian pronunciation, I have not tried to figure out how "Nefertiti"
was actually vocalized. I will give it some thought and get back to
you.

> Could you shed some light on the 'vowelling' of Egypt scripts ?

Of course, the ancient Egyptian writing system contained only
consonants, the vowels not being represented. However, there were
some "semi-vowels" or "weak consonants", which were /i/, /y/, /w/ and
/a/ which were not always consistently vocalized. But, let us say the
consonant /i/ appeared in first position in a word. Then it served as
a "glottal stop".

> Why do AS-scholars refer to NFRTT as Nefertiti and German ones
> as Nofretete ?
> Are there some rules ?

No. Different cultures have their own ways of transcribing Egyptian
names. For example, the British, coming from a standpoint of their
usual classic educations, write the Pharaonic names Greek style,
"Sethos" for "Seti" and "Thutmosis" for "Thutmose. I would say that
"Nefertiti" is quite far from the actual vocalization and "Nofretete" is
closer.

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

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Jun 24, 2001, 1:55:32 PM6/24/01
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On Sat, 23 Jun 2001 22:35:32 GMT, "Jenn"
<moon...@mailandnews.copyright2001allrightsreserved!> in
alt.history.ancient-egypt, wrote the following:

>During Akhenaten's


>rein, didn't art become more naturalistic? It is said Akhenaten was an
>eccentric who didn't like flattering depictions of himself or his queen,
>which is why his unusual appearance, the large lips and the large hips are
>often noted! Given Akhenaten's radicalism in Art and Religion aren't
>Nefertit's depictions likely to be rather accurate.

Where do you get your information that "...Akhenaten was an eccentric
who didn't like flattering depictions of himself or his queen...", out
of curiosity? I sincerely doubt this is true, as it is recorded the king
himself created the Amarna art style, according to his master
artisan/sculptor, Bek, and did so with a specific _political_ and
religious purpose in mind.

If you recall, I noted that when one does away with traditional gods,
the whole iconography of Egyptian art becomes affected. In this case,
both Akhenaten and Nefertiti were interested in showing their _direct_
relationship with the Aten as his divine children, and less on how they
may have actually appeared. Rita Freed noted in the recent _Pharaohs of
the Sun_ catalog, for example, that revision of the canonical
proportions of the body alone was more an attempt to elevate the subject
(the king, for example) into an "otherworldly" format by
interaction/balance by the overly extended distortions of body parts:

"(Discussing the colossi of the king and queen at Karnak, some of the
earliest examples of Amarna art under Akhenaten)...The head and upper
torso are an interplay of oblique lines, beginning with diagonal folds
of the nemes headcloth and continuing in the accentuated facial
features. Slit eyes with sharply projecting upper lids angle inward
towards the elongated nose, whose v-shaped tip matches the edge of the
lips. A prominent pendant chin is given further emphasis by the long
narrow beard. The diagonals continue in the pronounced sinews of the
neck and prominent collar bones, which parallel the lines of the king's
crook and flail.

The narrow upper torso tapers further toward a high waist and then
flares dramatically into voluptuous hips and a belly that pushes the
belt of the kilt sharply downward into a U. the fullness of the legs
continue only to the knees. the spindly calves would hardly have been
able to bear the weight of the body had they not been attached to a back
pillar. Large plaques bearing Aten's name, placed like jewelry at the
neck, upper and lower arms, and waist, further contribute to the eerie
look of the colossus. Illuminated by the sun's raking light in the
open-air courtyard, these statues, with an interplay of diagonals and
plastic modeling, must have come alive to transport the viewer into a
surreal world.

The distortion of each body part expressed a fundamental and deliberate
change in the idea of how the body was constructed. According to
standards of proportion the Old Kingdom on, the standing figure was
divided into eighteen equal units of height, with each line marking
specific body parts. Under Amenhotep IV, two units were added above the
knees, thereby increasing the height of the upper body relative to the
knee." (p. 112-113)

and

"Despite the innovations, artisans at Amarna, as at Karnak, observed
most of the traditional rules of Egyptian representations, such as the
use of scale to signify importance, the combination of profile and
frontal views in the same figures, the use of standard royal attributes,
and the repetitive poses of subsidiary figures. Both at Karnak and at
Amarna artists freely experimented with new and realistic ways of
representing the human figure. Relaxation of tension in a figure, full
frontal torsos, and the distinction between right and left feet through
the depiction of toes are all variations which had been tried
previously, but never before with the fluency and frequency of
Akhenaten's time." (p. 119)

Source:

Freed, R. "Art in the Service of Religion and State." in _Pharaohs of
the Sun: Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Tutankhamen._ 1999: 110 - 129. (Boston:
Boston Museum of Fine Arts)

This "extreme lengthening" of the body and its part was to make the
subjects (here, the king and the queen" to seem to be different from
other mortals. This may be a throw-back to the Old Kingdom practice
where the king was the only one who could interact with divinities and
all others had to rely upon his noblesse oblige to even be *considered*
for participation in the afterlife, for example. What better way to
elevate the king to a living divine status, such as occurred with
Akhenaten's father, Amenhotep III, than by changing the appearance of
the king (in his royal iconography, at a minimum) to something that was
'divine,' or "unworldly?"

There is a _fluidity_ to Amarna art (almost a sensuality), but this not
unknown prior to the time of Akhenaten (artworks from the reign of
Amenhotep III show similar features), and in lesser forms, the so-called
"naturalistic" features of landscapes, animals, and so on had their
origins from the late Old Kingdom onwards. Freed pointed out in the
same article, quoted above (see citation, supra), that

"While artists may have had little choice in the primary subject of a
composition, they probably enjoyed more freedom in the selection and
execution of peripheral themes...These depictions demonstrate that the
interest in nature and the immediacy of the moment expressed in the
Great Hymn to the Aten permeated visual art as well." (Freed, 1999:
119)

Further, there are _phases_ to Amarna art, and the "extreme" distortions
of the king and queen in the early phases are "smoothed out" by the late
Amarna phase, and with the change of styles from that of Bek to the
master sculptor Thutmose. The Berlin Nefertiti head, for example, is an
example of Thutmose's work, while the extreme examples where Nefertiti
looks exactly like her husband king are shown from the Early phase[when
the sculptor Bek was in charge of the royal iconography] and Middle
phase [during the transition from Bek to Thutmose in Years 8-12].

The whole body styling and dimensions change in the Late Phase of
Amarna art under the sculptor Thutmose (there is, for example, a
specific change in head shape, clavicle prominence, eye shape and
modeling, introduction of "age" features, and curiously, a specific
change in the shape of the "Amarna navel,"all of which occur after year
8, when Thutmose takes over as the lead artist for the Royal House
(Eaton-Krauss, 1981: 252). The Louvre Akhenaten statue from this
period, when placed side by side with the Karnak Colossi of the early
phases, for example, is barely recognizable at the same subject. Freed
noted of this later phase:

"For Akhenaten's artisans, there was not just one standard of beauty,
but many. The explored various facial structures and played with the
different ways flesh and bone come together. The subtle and
not-so-subtle changes in face and body that accompany advancing age
became a focus for sculpture in the round, perhaps inspired by the
maturing of the royal family." (Freed, 1999: 128)

See also:

Eaton-Krauss, M. "Miscellanea Amarnanesia." CdE 56 (1981):245-264.

HTH.

Regards --

International Association of Egyptologists

University of Alabama at Birmingham
Special Studies

http://www.griffis-consulting.com

Reading mail from me in a Usenet group does not
grant you the right to send me unsolicited commercial e-mail.
All senders of unsolicited commercial e-mail will be
reported to their postmasters as Usenet abusers.

================

eXistenZ

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Jun 24, 2001, 2:08:40 PM6/24/01
to
isnt she the person that Evie plays in the mummy returns?

--
Stephen Lears
www.slears.freeserve.co.uk

* Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental

"Katherine Griffis-Greenberg" <egy...@griffis-consulting.com> wrote in
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Michael Kuettner

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Jun 24, 2001, 4:28:52 PM6/24/01
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Katherine Griffis-Greenberg <egy...@griffis-consulting.com> wrote in
message news:qu6cjtgbdidh4o85f...@4ax.com...

> On Sat, 23 Jun 2001 22:35:32 GMT, "Jenn"
> <moon...@mailandnews.copyright2001allrightsreserved!> in
> alt.history.ancient-egypt, wrote the following:
>
> >During Akhenaten's
> >rein, didn't art become more naturalistic? It is said Akhenaten was
an
> >eccentric who didn't like flattering depictions of himself or his
queen,
> >which is why his unusual appearance, the large lips and the large
hips are
> >often noted! Given Akhenaten's radicalism in Art and Religion aren't
> >Nefertit's depictions likely to be rather accurate.
>
> Where do you get your information that "...Akhenaten was an eccentric
> who didn't like flattering depictions of himself or his queen...", out
> of curiosity? I sincerely doubt this is true, as it is recorded the
king
> himself created the Amarna art style, according to his master
> artisan/sculptor, Bek, and did so with a specific _political_ and
> religious purpose in mind.
>
It was badly stated; but from my (sub-adaequate) knowledge I
understand, that the formalistic artistic style wasn't used any-
more; but a rather naturalistic style emerged.
Am I wrong[1] ?

<snip highly informative post>

Thank you,

Michael Kuettner

[1] This is a sincere, not rhetoric question from a lay-man (Laie).

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

unread,
Jun 24, 2001, 9:38:06 PM6/24/01
to
On Sun, 24 Jun 2001 22:28:52 +0200, "Michael Kuettner" <mik...@eunet.at>

Hello Mr. Kuettner:

In a sense, there was *change* to the "formalistic artistic style," but
not total abandonment in practice or in philosophy from its preceding
roots. Art in Egypt has a _function_ and purpose: it represents
concepts in a visual way (this is why we refer to Egyptian art as being
"iconographical" in nature: it is a set of specified or traditional
symbolic forms associated with the subject or theme of a stylized work
of art).

As Freed pointed out in the text I quoted, the new art style adhered as
closely to most of the traditional rules of art rendering as had
occurred _before_ Akhenaten's ascension. The "innovation" in the art,
as it were, was in a) choice of subject matter (the royal family) as a
matter of religious iconography, b) the emphasis upon the immediate and
the emotional nature of the art (the art emphasizes intimacy as a
religious principle), and 3) with the subject matter divested of its
original royal and traditionally divine topics, there was, as Freed
noted, more choice in representing _peripheral_ topics, such as nature,
the layout of the royal city (Amarna art is one of the few examples of
artistic detail within an urban environment, and in making religious
principles "expressible" in monuments, statuary, and reliefs _as a
concept_ and not as anthropomorphized deities.

Amarna art was more a "substitution" style for the traditional art style
which incorporated the religious essences of anthropomorphic gods
formerly portrayed ritualistically in art, making it a style of
religious/poltical art where all the essences and functions of all
formerly-worshipped gods were "superimposed" upon the persons of the
king and queen (and to a lesser extent, upon their children).

So, for example, Akhenaten may often appear as an androgynous male with
swollen hips and breasts. Why is this? While there seems to be no
direct evidence of disease within the remains of family members that
have been found, it has been surmised his appearance is this way is due
to forms of _traditional_ Egyptian religion, since the creator god Atum
was _stated_ in texts to be the "great He/She," possessing attributes of
both genders.

Likewise does Nefertiti's imagery range from the high voluptuous
fertility goddess type which had been in the past represented by Hathor,
Isis, etc. to that of a masculinized avenging deity in Sekhmet fashion,
bashing in the heads of enemies. In early phases of Amarna art, the
king and queen specifically appear as Shu and Tefnut, for example, which
are the original gendered deities of the Egyptian pantheon, and thus
establishing the religious mythos they are direct descendants of the
Aten-deity, whom they originally equated with Atum.

Since the features and images of the king and queen vary so widely
throughout the course of the Amarna Period, what I am saying, as well as
Freed and others, is one cannot claim the art to be either naturalistic
or realistic. It uses fluidity of movement -- as occurs in _nature_ --
but that is the sum total of Amarna "naturalism." The art emphasized
the body in a way which was *different* from the "idealized" forms of
the past -- but as Freed noted in the quoted material I gave, much of
this was based upon a purposeful opposition of diagonals and lines in
juxtaposition, to create an "otherworldly" effect. This style was
attempting to say something political and religious about the _divine
nature_ of the subject -- in this case, the king and the queen -- in a
_new_ "ritualistic" fashion.

HTH.

Regards --

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

Member, American Research Center in Egypt

Suzanne

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Jun 25, 2001, 6:08:57 PM6/25/01
to

"Katherine Griffis-Greenberg" <egy...@griffis-consulting.com> wrote in message
news:3v98jtshr9q4fuva1...@4ax.com...
I appreciate your sharing this point of view. I see the points you are
making. Let me share with you what I am seeing. Here is a website
with a good head-on view of the bust they are saying is symmetrical.
I am seeing many differences which I will show you. First, take a look
at this picture which is the bust of Nefertiti:
http://www.geocities.com/BourbonStreet/5809/nefertit.html
I paint from life, and used to paint from pictures when it came to faces.
Doing this from life, I have observed some things not noticed before,
which follow: At first glance the two sides of the face do look quite
symmetrical as they have said. But I don't really think they are so
symmetrical. First, the eyebrows have at least two lines, the top line
of the eyebrow, and the bottom line of the eyebrow, which are different.
An eyebrow has several peaks also, one or two on the top line, and one
or two on the bottom line of each eyebrow. Facing the bust, on your
right and Nefertiti's bust's left side of the face, the eyebrow is thicker
than the other one on your left, her right. On your right, her left side of the
face, all the features are higher than they are on the other side of the face.
That is, the eyebrow is higher, the eye's orbital bone is higher, the inner
rim of the eye on your right, her left, is higher up than the inner rim of the
opposite eye. Some of the ear is missing, but the bore (the inner canal)
of the ear on the right is higher up than the bore of the ear on your left, her
right. On a human being, the ears are not quite exactly opposite one
another, and usually one side has the ear slightly higher than the other ear.
The top line of the eyebrow on your right, her left, is higher, and is more
round than the brow on the left, her right, which is more angular, rising
more sharply to a peak and delicately tapering down, while the eyebrow
on your right, her left, remains thick under the peak of the top line, then
sharply thins out on it's way down on the outer portion of the eyebrow.
The lower lid on your right, her left, dips downward in
a curve that is rounder in it's straighter counterpart on the other eye. The
orbital bone over the eye on the right, her left, reaches a higher curve than
the one on the left, her right. The cheekbone on your right, her left is more
prominent, and has a slight hollow under the cheek that is not so prominent
on your left, her right under the other cheekbone. Now, above almost
perfect lips is "flesh" sculpted exactly like real flesh is shaped, so that a
sort of white line is visible above the lips, just like people look in real
life.
While some mathematical distances may have been made to see if the right
side is symmetrical with the left side, something not likely to have been
measured is the expression, and the way that the flesh is shaped above,
below and near the features. For example, a sculptor not only sculpts shape,
but he sculpts light and the way that it falls on the planes of the face. The
white line is formed not by color, but by protrusion of the material exactly
as lips jut out a bit. Now, notice the tilt of the smile corners of the mouth,
and the depression that form the smile lines which are delicate and not
identical on either side. The corner of the mouth on your right appears to
be deeper than that of the left side, her right. The plane of the cheek on
your left is different than the plane of the cheek on your right. The depression
between the prominent muscles that go to the almost center of the upper lip
is visible like a person in real life would have it, and each muscle is slightly
different and not symmetrical on either side of this "angel kiss" depression.
There is also a slight depression between the eyebrows that are what we
have in real life, that usually is not present in a drawing. The face is a
square
jaw, but delicately so, and the high cheek bones are not so high as to upset
an almost oval appearance of the face which is like an egg standing on it's
end, which the forehead provides with it's rounder, and wider appearance.
I dare say the headdress could make it appear broader than it would be if
we could see her hairline. The jaw is more square and flat underneath it,
but the shape is almost the shape of a diamond face. Her face is really a
combination face shape between diamond, square and oval. This "flesh"
sculpting continues on the neck, as it is obvious that the muscle that goes
from under the chin to the top of the collar bone is more prominent on one
side, and on your right are the presence of two slight lumps on the neck
just above the shoulder line, as it might be in real life. Now, I'll show you
something else. When people look at a face, they scan it. They look first
at the eyes, the eyebrows, and their line of vision then jumps lower and to
the opposite side, then juts back again to the other side even lower. In
real life, and in this bust, if you zig-zag your vision from right to left to
right, which is one way of looking at a face, you will get a different
impression
than if you zig-zag your eyes from left to right to left. You will get a
different
impression of what a face looks like this way. One way, the face is more
angular and chiseled looking. The other way, the face is more soft and
rounded looking. I'll illustrate.

^ ==
1 | @ @ | 4
5| U \
\ __ , / 2
3 \___ ___/ 6

If you scan from left (1) to right (2) to left (3) you will notice the more
angular shapes the way I have drawn it, which is an exaggeration,
of course. If you see a face and scan it from right (4) to left (5) to
right (6), you will see a softer and less angular version in your mind.
People look this way at faces. I suppose this is why one person will
think someone looks like a certain person whereas others say no, it
is more like so and so. People look between the angles and the
curves, between the softnesses and the sharpnesses of the shape
of the face, and they form an image in their minds which best sums
up what they think that person looks like. For example, from the
above, the right, left, right image is #1 and the left, right, left image
is #2 below.
== == ^ ^
| @ @ | | @ @ |
| U | / U \
\ ,__, / \ __ /
\______/ #1 \_____ / #2

So, when someone goes to sculpt a face, unless they are very good,
they do not put in all those angels and curves that are different. They
usually will look at just the angles and work on a basis of angles, or
they will look at the curves and work on a basis of the curves. But to
truly be a good sculptor, you have to also see the work in your mind in
a third dimension, which is that dimension that involves light and how
light strikes the face. Since this sculptor paid attention to the details
that I mention above, and since the flesh is a works also of light and
the way light strikes the face, In my opinion this is a true work done
from life, and not from just a flat drawing, or from a stylized working
of art. Obviously the eyebrows are different above, but I had no
type tools to illustrate it any other way but to show a great difference.
Now, to check that what I am saying is true, if a person gets a mirror,
and places it close to the screen of the bust of Nefertiti, so that they
can see the whole face in reverse, these differences will become
more prominent. If you take a mirror and half the computer image of
Nefertiti, and place it in such a way that the half is reflected to form
a whole face, you will see a difference between a face made from
the left half, and with a face made from the other half of the face,
minus the distraction of the missing pupil, of course. Also the lighting
of the photo is from the top and front, from two sources, the room's
light in which the bust is housed, or the case that it is in, which likely is
overhead, and with the flash of the camera, which obviously is nearest
the upper left (your left) of center, since the brightest location of light is
on the forehead near your left of center. The overhead shadow is
obvious due to the shadow under the nose, which tilts slightly to your
right. Unless the hollow really is deeper on your right view of her cheek
on your right, her left, the flash of the camera from the front should make
it disappear, but it does not. Actresses and Actors get to choose which
side of the face looks best on them, and they use this to their advantage
in photographing them. To me, the left side of my face looks a bit more
defined than the right side. I think this is true of this work, but I also think
it is true of most people. This lady was a beautiful lady if this is what
she looked like. I honestly don't think that the work could be done so
realistically if it was just a stylized kind of work, rather than being done
from real life. That is only an opinion, but as you can see, it is a studied
opinion. This either is a scupted work from real life, or from a life-mask,
which is a possibility also, but from a living person.
>
By the way, a caricature, which is an amazing kind of art that looks
like the person, yet like a cartoon character, is created by taking all the
sharp images and putting them throughout the face of the created image,
and by exaggerating each in it's own direction. In other words, Bob Hope's
curved inward nose bridge becomes a "ski-slide" nose.
>
Suzanne

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

unread,
Jun 26, 2001, 5:45:21 AM6/26/01
to
On Mon, 25 Jun 2001 22:08:57 GMT, "Suzanne" <suzan...@altavista.net>

in alt.history.ancient-egypt, wrote the following:

=======


>I appreciate your sharing this point of view. I see the points you are
>making. Let me share with you what I am seeing. Here is a website
>with a good head-on view of the bust they are saying is symmetrical.
>I am seeing many differences which I will show you. First, take a look
>at this picture which is the bust of Nefertiti:
>http://www.geocities.com/BourbonStreet/5809/nefertit.html
>I paint from life, and used to paint from pictures when it came to faces.
>Doing this from life, I have observed some things not noticed before,
>which follow: At first glance the two sides of the face do look quite
>symmetrical as they have said. But I don't really think they are so
>symmetrical. First, the eyebrows have at least two lines, the top line
>of the eyebrow, and the bottom line of the eyebrow, which are different.

etc. <snip>

Er, I am not disputing what _you_ are seeing, but that is not how it is.
The bust is, in fact, absolutely symmetrical and this has been shown
again and again, even through computer tomography scans, performed by
Rolf Krauss and Dietrich Wildung.

I urge you to get a copy of _The Royal Women of Amarna: Images of Beauty
in Ancient Egypt_. 1996 (New York: MMA/Abrams), and refer to the
analysis of the bust on pp. 65-70.

As to the symmetry of the piece, I also refer you to a rendering of the
CT scan by Rolf Krauss, to be found in the above work, but posted for
your information at

http://www.geocities.com/netwomen_1999/ReschEgy/nefertiti-grid-krauss.gif

Arnold noted that

"Art historians have always stressed the symmetries in Nefertiti's face.
Contrary to most Egyptian sculptures -- for instance, the wooden head of
Queen Tiye -- the facial features of the bust are remarkably
symmetrical. Nefertiti's chin, mouth, and nose, and the uraeus cobra
are placed along the vertical axis of the face. The nostrils are
exactly one finger distant from each side of this median line; the outer
ends of the eyebrows are three fingers from the median line and the
center of each ear is four fingers, if again the photogrammetric image
is used that projects the sculptural details on a plane. Krauss has
shown that major deviations from this unusually strict adherence to
symmetry appear only in areas other than the face. The left side of the
crown is slightly broader than the right side, and the right shoulder is
slightly wider than the left." (op. cit., p. 68).

Resources cited by Arnold:

Krauss, R. "1913 - 1988: Jahre Büste der NofretEte/Nefer-tit in Berlin,
Zweiter Teil." Jahrbuch Preussicher Kulturbesitz 28 (1991): 123-157.

_________. Nefertiti - A Drawing Board Beauty? The 'most lifelike work
of Egyptian Art' is Simply the Embodiment of Numerical Order." in
_Amarna Letters, I_: 46-49. (San Francisco: KMT Publications).

Wildung, D. "Einblicke: Zerstörungsfreie Unterschungen an altägyptsichen
Objekten." Jahrbuch Preussicher Kulturbesitz 29 (1992); 133-156.

Regards --

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

Member, American Research Center in Egypt
International Association of Egyptologists

University of Alabama at Birmingham
Special Studies

http://www.griffis-consulting.com

Suzanne

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Jun 29, 2001, 12:52:20 AM6/29/01
to

"Katherine Griffis-Greenberg" <egy...@griffis-consulting.com> wrote in message
news:asjgjt8ttppfmimfk...@4ax.com...
I don't want to disappoint you because you have taken so much time
to be considerate to show your point, and you have done a nice
job of reporting, and this is not just a placation to make you feel better.
I am going to show you exactly what I feel about, not you, but the
people who are making these claims. You are saying "I am not
disputing what you are seeing, but that is not how it is." This seems
that you want to just step over the wonder of human perception, and
instead accept what people are claiming in technical sounding books.
I think it sounds like you are saying not to rely on what you see, but on
these tests that people have run that say something against what is
seen. I a person throws out human perception with respect to this bust
of Nefertiti, I feel that they are not realizing that it was created with the
amazing quality of someone's human perception. How else would
it have been able to be made? You indicate that they have said it is
"absolutely symmetrical" and you say it "has been shown again and

again, even through computer tomography scans, performed by
Rolf Krauss and Dietrich Wildung," and I am thinking...."why does it
have to be shown over and over?" Are people doubting something
here and causing them to do this "over and over?" I'm thinking that
something might be wrong with the way in which they did these tests,
since the bust was surely not made by a precision machine. How could
it be that a mere man, or men who lived in Egypt so long ago, with
very human hands, and very human perception, possibly create a
sculpture that would be so perfect that it takes computer age
machines to figure out the symmetry? Think about that! Something
must be wrong with the way they measured it, something having to
do with their methods. It does not seem likely that it would be
possible for a person to have sculpted anything that perfect, not even
accidentally. I doubt them, Katherine. It is not difficult at all to see
the differences.

>
> I urge you to get a copy of _The Royal Women of Amarna: Images of Beauty
> in Ancient Egypt_. 1996 (New York: MMA/Abrams), and refer to the
> analysis of the bust on pp. 65-70.
>
Thankyou for this reference, I am interested in their methods. By
nature, I am rather skeptical of their claims.

>
> As to the symmetry of the piece, I also refer you to a rendering of the
> CT scan by Rolf Krauss, to be found in the above work, but posted for
> your information at
>
> http://www.geocities.com/netwomen_1999/ReschEgy/nefertiti-grid-krauss.gif
>
This is a two-dimensional picture at this website, with a grid, and
of a 3 dimensional artifact. If I photographed the world, and then
measured off what town would be one inch from Daytona Beach,
Florida, then measured one inch from Salt Lake City, Utah to see
what town was closest there, the mileage would not be the same,
because Florida has no mountains, and Utah does. When you
are speaking of the infinitessimal differences of a three dimensional
object, you have depth to be considered, and it is not so easily
measured around features on a bust of a face of a person. The
URL above, aside from being a pretty drawing or bad tracing
of what is generally there, does not even have the eyes correctly
drawn. The eye on the right has more curvaceousness to the lower
lid on your right, for example, in the bust of Nefertiti. The only way
that this would be shown to be symmetrical in a 2 dimensional
photograph or trace drawing of the features is if you half the face,
lay one side upside down upon the other half and look to see a
match. If it is as even as they claim, it would be a perfect fit. But
even that, does not measure the depth of the third dimension. All
they had to do to get this to work was make sure the photo of the
face was exactly pointing to the median point, then place the grid
exactly over the face evenly distributing the grid equidistant from
the center, upon the features.

>
> Arnold noted that
>
> "Art historians have always stressed the symmetries in Nefertiti's face.
> Contrary to most Egyptian sculptures -- for instance, the wooden head of
> Queen Tiye -- the facial features of the bust are remarkably
> symmetrical. Nefertiti's chin, mouth, and nose, and the uraeus cobra
> are placed along the vertical axis of the face. The nostrils are
> exactly one finger distant from each side of this median line; the outer
> ends of the eyebrows are three fingers from the median line and the
> center of each ear is four fingers, if again the photogrammetric image
> is used that projects the sculptural details on a plane. Krauss has
> shown that major deviations from this unusually strict adherence to
> symmetry appear only in areas other than the face. The left side of the
> crown is slightly broader than the right side, and the right shoulder is
> slightly wider than the left." (op. cit., p. 68).
>
It would not be difficult for two nostrils to be identical to one another.
It would not be without possibility that the woman, Nefertiti, or the artist
used an eyebrow form such as those that some women have today to
get the eyebrows to be close to perfection. I wonder what tilt the bust
sits on, for it probably isn't totally level, and what ever that may be, the
center of the ears would be lined up on a level to get the true reading,
I would think.

>
> Resources cited by Arnold:
>
> Krauss, R. "1913 - 1988: Jahre Büste der NofretEte/Nefer-tit in Berlin,
> Zweiter Teil." Jahrbuch Preussicher Kulturbesitz 28 (1991): 123-157.
>
> _________. Nefertiti - A Drawing Board Beauty? The 'most lifelike work
> of Egyptian Art' is Simply the Embodiment of Numerical Order." in
> _Amarna Letters, I_: 46-49. (San Francisco: KMT Publications).
>
> Wildung, D. "Einblicke: Zerstörungsfreie Unterschungen an altägyptsichen
> Objekten." Jahrbuch Preussicher Kulturbesitz 29 (1992); 133-156.
>
Joy to all,
>
Suzanne

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

unread,
Jun 29, 2001, 3:39:24 AM6/29/01
to
On Fri, 29 Jun 2001 04:52:20 GMT, "Suzanne" <suzan...@altavista.net>

in alt.history.ancient-egypt, wrote the following:
I had said
>> Er, I am not disputing what _you_ are seeing, but that is not how it is.
>> The bust is, in fact, absolutely symmetrical and this has been shown
>> again and again, even through computer tomography scans, performed by
>> Rolf Krauss and Dietrich Wildung.
>>
>I don't want to disappoint you because you have taken so much time
>to be considerate to show your point, and you have done a nice
>job of reporting, and this is not just a placation to make you feel better.
>I am going to show you exactly what I feel about, not you, but the
>people who are making these claims. You are saying "I am not
>disputing what you are seeing, but that is not how it is." This seems
>that you want to just step over the wonder of human perception, and
>instead accept what people are claiming in technical sounding books.
>I think it sounds like you are saying not to rely on what you see, but on
>these tests that people have run that say something against what is
>seen.

Suzanne, while I don't want to get into a dispute with you, you seem to
want to do so with me.

Let's put it this way. These "tests" are, in fact, analyses of how the
pieces were made. They are done for any number of reasons, not the
least of which is art historians have a real interest in how certain
artworks were made. Now, if you will read the citation of Arnold's
work, which I gave you, as well as the citations by Krauss and Wildung,
you will see they tell you how the piece was originally constructed, how
it was altered to meet the symmetry requirement to a mathematical
precision, using the finger-width canon. If you viewed the image I gave
you earlier, you can see the image was being analyzed against what was
known from the Egyptian art canon of the period, and I am sure, much to
everyone's surprise, it was, in fact _absolutely symmetrical._ Earlier
scholars had noted the symmetry by _eye_, but Krauss and Wildung had
placed the bust under CT (computerized tomography) scans which measured
not on the "flat" plane (as you seem to object to in your analysis of
Krauss' graph, I see), but also the three-dimensional plane.

>I a person throws out human perception with respect to this bust
>of Nefertiti, I feel that they are not realizing that it was created with the
>amazing quality of someone's human perception. How else would
>it have been able to be made? You indicate that they have said it is
>"absolutely symmetrical" and you say it "has been shown again and
>again, even through computer tomography scans, performed by
>Rolf Krauss and Dietrich Wildung," and I am thinking...."why does it
>have to be shown over and over?" Are people doubting something
>here and causing them to do this "over and over?"

It does not take computers to note the symmetry of the Nefertiti bust:
what computers DID do was _confirm_ the fact the bust was constructed on
a specific grid adherence, and its purposes was to create an absolutely
symmetrical image of the queen in sculpture. The main fault of the bust
(beyond in lack of inlaid left eye) is the neck is overly long (meant to
balance the headdress), which meant it could not be used as a tenon
insert into a composite statue, and was thus finished off as an
artists' model. Again, this was noted by computer scans.

> I'm thinking that
>something might be wrong with the way in which they did these tests,
>since the bust was surely not made by a precision machine. How could
>it be that a mere man, or men who lived in Egypt so long ago, with
>very human hands, and very human perception, possibly create a
>sculpture that would be so perfect that it takes computer age
>machines to figure out the symmetry? Think about that! Something
>must be wrong with the way they measured it, something having to
>do with their methods. It does not seem likely that it would be
>possible for a person to have sculpted anything that perfect, not even
>accidentally. I doubt them, Katherine. It is not difficult at all to see
>the differences.

I think you have no knowledge of the mathematical grid system in the
ancient Egyptian art canon, so very important to Egyptian art. I also
suggest you read about it before assuming that "mere man, or men who
lived in Egypt so long ago.." could not have created a precise sculpture
of this sort. The Egyptians were not a primitive people, after all,
Suzanne.

See:

Davis, W. _The Canonical Tradition in Ancient Egyptian Art_. 1989.
(Cambridge: Cambridge Univ Press).

Iverson, E. and Shibata Y. _Canon and Proportions in Egyptian Art_.
1975. (Warminster: Aris and Phillips)

Robins, G. _Proportion and Style in Ancient Egyptian Art_. 1994.
(Austin: Univ. of Texas Press).

I said:

>> I urge you to get a copy of _The Royal Women of Amarna: Images of Beauty
>> in Ancient Egypt_. 1996 (New York: MMA/Abrams), and refer to the
>> analysis of the bust on pp. 65-70.
>>
>Thankyou for this reference, I am interested in their methods. By
>nature, I am rather skeptical of their claims.

I think you do so at your peril in this discussion, and I will show you
why.

I noted:


>> As to the symmetry of the piece, I also refer you to a rendering of the
>> CT scan by Rolf Krauss, to be found in the above work, but posted for
>> your information at
>>
>> http://www.geocities.com/netwomen_1999/ReschEgy/nefertiti-grid-krauss.gif

to which Suzanne replied:


>This is a two-dimensional picture at this website, with a grid, and

>of a 3 dimensional artifact. ...<snip irrelevant analogy>.... When you


>are speaking of the infinitessimal differences of a three dimensional
>object, you have depth to be considered, and it is not so easily
>measured around features on a bust of a face of a person.

Not so: had you read the citation I gave you, you would realize you are
making an unfounded assumption:

From _The Royal Women of Amarna: Images of Beauty in Ancient Egypt_
1996: 68-69:

"...Rolf Krauss, an Egyptologist at the Berlin Museum, has recently show
how, in typical Egyptian fashion, the shape of the bust appears to have
been determined with the help of grid that used the smallest
longitudinal measure in ancient Egypt, a finger (1.875 cm; 3/4 in.), as
its basic unit. Krauss drew this grid over a photogrammetric image of
Nefertiti that had been previously constructed by scientists from the
Berlin Technical University (1). Drawn over this photogrammetric image
in _front and profile_ views, the grid measured some major facial
features. The chin, for instance, is located two fingers below the
median line between the lips, the tip of the nose is another finger
width above the median line of the mouth, the lower eyelids are two
fingers above the tip of the nose, and the peaks of the eyebrows (2) are
another two fingers above the lower lids. Since in the ancient Egyptian
measuring system, four fingers equaled one palm (7.5 cm, 3 in.), it can
be said that there was a distance of one palm between the tip of the
nose and the peak of the eyebrows, and two palms between the chin and
the edge of the crown.

<...>

Dietrich Wildung's important computerised tomography studies revealed
that careful balancing also occurred in the earlier stages of the
creation of Nefertiti's bust.(3) It appears that the bust's limestone
core originally had a considerably longer and thinner neck, shoulders of
rather uneven height, and a crown straighter in the back line and
narrower from front to back. To correct these faults and achieve final
equilibrium, the sculptor used gypsum plaster to heighten and even out
the shoulders. Plaster was also added to the back of the neck, and the
crown. Borchardt [who did the original analysis of the bust in the
1920's - KGG] had already suggested that certain details in the face
itself were molded with the help of a thin layer of gypsum plaster. the
actual amount of plaster used for the facial details is still to be
determined.

<...>

Carefully structured according to a strict numerical system, the painted
bust of Nefertiti occupies a key position in the development that led
from her expressively ugly early representations to the softer new
version that emerged just before years 8-12 of Akhenaten's reign. There
can be no doubt that the bust presents the prototypical new face of the
queen in its purest form. Was it the definitive model that demonstrated
the new way to depict the queen? And does this function explain the
bust's unusually rigid symmetries and 'drawing board' adherence to a set
system of proportions? " (Emphasis __ __ added)

Arnold's notes:

(1) Published as the cover of the periodical Berliner Beitrage zur
Archaeometrie, Vol. 1 (1976).

(2) There is a noticeable indentation at this point between the brow
ridge and the forehead.

(3) Wildung, D. "Einblicke: Zerstörungsfreie Unterschungen an
altägyptsichen Objekten." Jahrbuch Preussicher Kulturbesitz 29 (1992):
147-148, figs. 12, 13 on pp. 150-151.

>The URL above, aside from being a pretty drawing or bad tracing
>of what is generally there, does not even have the eyes correctly
>drawn. The eye on the right has more curvaceousness to the lower
>lid on your right, for example, in the bust of Nefertiti.

Apparently that is YOUR view of the subject, and while viewing art is
subjective, analysis of its method, style and rendering can be (and has
been) subjected to far stricter analysis that what one _subjectively_
sees, as you have.

> The only way that this would be shown to be symmetrical in a 2 dimensional
>photograph or trace drawing of the features is if you half the face,
>lay one side upside down upon the other half and look to see a
>match. If it is as even as they claim, it would be a perfect fit. But
>even that, does not measure the depth of the third dimension. All
>they had to do to get this to work was make sure the photo of the
>face was exactly pointing to the median point, then place the grid
>exactly over the face evenly distributing the grid equidistant from
>the center, upon the features.

Then read the quotation above, and see that all spatial analysis was
done on the piece, and the point-by-point analysis is NOT based upon two
dimensions, but in all three dimensions. You should understand that
computer tomography [CT] is a technique which enable two- and
three-dimensional external and internal visualizations of objects.
X-ray and gamma-ray CT can provide information about the spatial
distribution of mass density, atomic number and chemical species within
objects down to the micron level. It is a very precise way of determine
layers of work in the bust, and in what manner they were applied.

> I wonder what tilt the bust sits on, for it probably isn't totally level,
>and what ever that may be, the center of the ears would be lined
> up on a level to get the true reading, I would think.

See description above as to the shoulders and their leveling of this
piece into a model's bust. The base of the piece, however, is level,
according to all representations of its position _in situ_ in the Berlin
Museum.

How the ears' centers were determined has been noted in my previous post
and I think the measurements of the canon controlled here, as in all
aspects of the bust's features.

Suzanne

unread,
Jul 5, 2001, 12:47:54 AM7/5/01
to

"Katherine Griffis-Greenberg" <egy...@griffis-consulting.com> wrote in message
news:q67ojto8c8tuerfga...@4ax.com...
Thank you for taking the time to speak to my concerns, each
and every one, and for the references that back up your point
of view. I will certainly consider them. The thing that I was
describing about how to determine symmetry is one that I
learned in Physics in a study of angles and incidences with
mirrors. Since you have further explained the ideas, I can see
what they are saying better. The differences that I see are there,
but after all, I have not seen this work in person. Ironically, some
of my family has gone there a short time ago and did see these
things in a museum in Berlin. While in this city, they also saw the
Ishtar Gate. It surprised me that it is inside a building. It is a
good thing that they have it because it is preserved. The bust
of Nefertiti is a work that has always interested me.
>
Suzanne


gerson

unread,
Jul 6, 2001, 8:50:01 PM7/6/01
to
"Suzanne" wrote

> Thank you for taking the time to speak to my concerns,

In an earlier post, Katherine says

> The bust is, in fact, absolutely symmetrical ...

She refers to Rolf Krauss and points to a site where
you can see a diagram of symmetrical parts of the bust.

Below that, she quotes 'Arnold' as saying

- "Krauss has shown that major deviations from this


unusually strict adherence to symmetry appear only

in areas other than the face" -

- which could suggest he recognises minor deviations
elsewhere, or he wouldn't use the word "major".

Suzanne's description of minor deviations in the face
doesn't conflict with this.

The symmetry thing's important of course, but the
artistic thing is important too, isn't it? And
Suzanne described it well, and I learnt something.


Suzanne

unread,
Jul 7, 2001, 10:13:55 PM7/7/01
to

"gerson" <ger...@bigpond.net.au> wrote in message
news:Z0t17.2548$4B5....@news-server.bigpond.net.au...
I appreciate your kind words. I just don't think that a person can
measure artistic design. For one thing, people who study art are
taught how to divide up a face in such a way as to where to place
features on the face, and in a certain plane. It would be a natural
thing under those circumstances for the artist or sculptor to make
a more symmetrical face due to this sectioning sketch that is
done first. For example, if when planning a sculpture or painting,
you draw a sketch from the very top of the head to the chin, and
you draw a horizontal line across the face, exactly in the middle,
you have a line where the pupils of the eyes can be placed, more
or less. Artists who are after realism still use this plan, then alter
it as suits their needs of expression, or as suits the actual individual
needs of representation. Also, in a head-on view, they size up the
sides of space beyond the eyebrow outer ends, the sides of the
nose, the sides of the mouth so that the same amount of space
shows beyond the corners of the mouth and other outer edges
of features, so it would not be unusual to see such symmetry in
a sculpture or a painting or a drawing. The attempt to do this is
not to obtain a stylized type of art, but is simply to place the
features in a right place on the face and maintain a resemblance
to what you are trying to recreate. The average good artist would
possibly be already practised in this ability of placement of features,
and this technique is visible in any art-drawing book that you can
find that gives instruction in such as the human body or the face
for portraits, as a help to the new artist. The standard trained
artist, when beginning a work, may take a sketch pad and roughly
sketch an oval, then bisect that oval and then quarter it, for the
placement of the face, the hair, and then add diagonals for the
general planes of the face, then from there, if a face has a different
shape than oval, he will create a face within the general oval, and
in this way "get his bearings" as to how to place the features, and
at what angle to place the features. A few people, very few, do not
go through this technique, but can just look at something and exactly
transfer what they see to the paper or sculpture as though they were
a camera. The most precisely perfect artist I've ever seen with a
camera type eye will surprise you because he is not known for his
exactness...and that is Picasso. If a person views his early works,
they will see that with one stroke of a pen, pencil, or brush, he could
make one line downward, and create a perfect silhouette of a person's
face, with perfect control of hand. This is quite visible in his famous
one-line drawings. The coordination that he had with his brain to hand
control was astounding. Most artists can see with their mind if they
have drawn something the wrong way, and that means that their
control of their hand was not as great as their eye for the subject.
Practise is the only thing that brings about this control. I believe that
Picasso must have been given a pen when he was an infant. It is
ironic that much of his fame was involved with anything but realistic
interpretation. In fact a total rebellion against order as we see it, is
obvious in his last and most prolific works starting with his beginning
"cubism" works, which strangley a computer can now produce when
a picture is blown up, and the square pixels are revealed. On the
other hand, that phase was a search for reality through emotion. An
artist reproduces his take on reality, be it with all the influences that
may reveal or warp what is real. Pablo Ruiz' Picasso once made this
very profound, and I think quite true comment on Art, especially his art:
~~~
"We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize the
truth, at least the truth that is given to us to understand." (He lived
from 1881 to 1973).
~~~
With this statement, I think he revealed that there is a form of truth
that he did not have consciously, and a knowledge that it did exist
somewhere, yet had remained elusive to him. If he knew that there
was truth not given to us to understand, then he knew there was
more than the conscious mind is ready to reveal. With his life, he
painted a picture of a person searching for the truth. If you take this
statement from him, then look at his work, you will see that he painted
the reverse of what he believed. He seemed to believe that life had
order, in other words, and purpose, and reason, but in his paintings
you see a the existence of an exhaustive search for it, and an almost
playful examination of the chaos that is involved without it. An artist
paints from his innermost feelings which he feels he must squeeze
into visual representation. However, under a command performance
a great artist can perform a mighty work such as the painting of the
Sistene Chapel, but still escape into the freedom of expression
within the confines of the orders that he has been given. I can only
give what I think the artist that sculpted the bust of Nefertiti might
have felt, but I can't go so far as to say, with the measure of his
work that he intended to conform to a stylized type of art in order
to satisfy a demand. Yet, if there is a side to what Katherine
presents, what she is talking about is I think a certain standard set
up by the Egyptian demands or style that the artist be confined
within. There are artists who do that. For example, there have
been cartoonists who die while a popular cartoon strip is very
actively enjoyed by the public, of which someone will take over the
artistic design, and the new artist has to be confined to what the
former artist's representation of the work ...that is just what a
person does who takes over the role of a cartoon strip of a
person who drew the subject but who died. Several of the artists
of comic strips have done this, and their expression had to go
into the formation of a recreation of the original artist's
interpretation. Katherine is perhaps talking about that kind of art
where some of the scholars think that the Egyptian art all followed
a certain stylized design and framework that an artisan must be
conformed to somewhat. While she is sure that these scholars
are reporting accurately from their measurements, I am not sure,
but I think what she has said is certainly interesting. To be honest,
I can't say that I'm right, and I can't say that she is right, simply
because I don't think we know, but can only speculate about. It
must be obvious that much of Egyptian art does follow a certain
form. It would be hard to tell one artist from the other. I don't think
that measuring something can be proof though, because of the
fact that an artist measures up to a certain standard usually to
begin with when he divides up the subject that he is going to
place features upon. I can only look at that idea as an interesting
theory, and I see no reason to have to confine an archaeological
artistic work to any standard, especially since the sculpture is not
the traditional wall relief painting. Could it not be that since the
artisan lived in a certain style of art, he would naturally follow some
of it without necessarily confining himself to any rigid standard?
Couldn't this woman have been as beautiful as the work which
represents her to begin with? There are enough differences there,
that it easily could be a real face, and if I am seeing it wrong,
then I still think that a more symmetrical face could look enough
like Nefertiti that the bust is a good representation of her and of
what she looked like. Someone can make a cartoon of a famous
person, and it looks just like them, no matter how even the features
may be. You still can tell who it is.
>
Again, thank you very much for your kind words.
>
Suzanne
>

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