Royal Gams

Digs & Discoveries March/April 2017

(HIP / Art Resource, NY)

The tomb of Egypt’s Queen Nefertari, the favorite wife of Ramesses II (r. 1279–1213 B.C.), in the Valley of the Queens, was ransacked in antiquity and her mummy torn apart by robbers. Now, a multidisciplinary team has analyzed a pair of legs found in the tomb to determine whether they were hers. Measurements and X-rays of the legs, displayed at the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy, have established that they belonged to a woman who was at least 40 years old and stood around five feet six inches tall. In addition, materials used to embalm the legs are consistent with mummification traditions of Nefertari’s time. While radiocarbon dating returned results predating her presumed lifespan by 200 years, Michael Habicht of the University of Zurich notes that this could be due to a broader challenge facing scholars attempting to radiocarbon date samples from Egypt’s New Kingdom. Although the identification is far from definitive, he says, the legs most likely did belong to Nefertari.

  • Artifacts March/April 2017

    Middle Bronze Age Jug

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    (Courtesy Clara Amit)
  • Around the World March/April 2017


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    (Courtesy M.C. Langley, Australian National University)
  • Digs & Discoveries March/April 2017

    Digging up Digital Music

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    (Courtesy University of Manchester School of Computer Science)
  • Features March/April 2017

    The First American Revolution

    Exploring the legacy of the New World’s most successful native rebellion

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    (Connie Photos)