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Archaeologists Identify Mummified Knees As Egyptian Queen Nefertari's

By Christie Abagon , Dec 04, 2016 09:57 PM EST
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A pair of mummified legs were unearthed in 1904 near the lavish tomb of Queen Nefertari of Egypt.  Now, based on a string of tests conducted by archaeologists, experts suggest that the legs belong to the queen herself.  Joann Fletcher from the University of York, and co-author of the study, said: "Having studied the woman, and having looked as so many images of her beautiful face, I think there is a sense of immense irony that physically this is what we have got.  She has been reduced to knees. But because we don't give up - it's like: 'we have got the knees, well, let's do what we can with them.'"

Queen Nefertari Was Famed For Her Beauty

Nefertari is the royal spouse of Pharaoh Ramses II,  who reigned from 1279 to 1213 B.C.E.  Experts say she died around 1250 BC, and before her death, she was famed for her beauty. According to Fletcher, "[her] main role [was] to be the decorative bystander when Ramses was flexing his pharaonic muscles at public events, and she was there as the eye candy."

The series of tests done to reveal the identity of the mummified legs include radiocarbon dating, paleopathology and genetics.  "This has been the most exciting project to be part of, and a great privilege to be working alongside with some of the world's leading experts in this area," Fletcher said.

Robbers Tore Nefertari's Tomb Into Pieces

Nefertari's tomb is so lavish, it's no wonder that robbers found it a favorite looting spot.  The Queen's mummy had been torn into pieces when experts found it.  However, experts are positive the remains that they found belong to the queen. 

Egyptologist Michael Habicht of the University of Zurich in Switzerland said: "The most likely scenario is that the mummified knees truly belong to Queen Nefertari.  We have the fact that the remains were found in her tomb, together with objects naming her alone and no one else."

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