(Jessica Lee’s article appeared in the Guardian, 8/14.)

In the windswept, hot, sandy Egyptian desert in 1912, a German archaeological team headed by Ludwig Borchardt was excavating a long-forgotten city that had a mysterious history. Borchardt unearthed a stunning bust that had been buried in the rubble for more than 3,300 years, a face that would soon become famous worldwide: Nefertiti.

Over the next 100 years, archaeologists and Egyptologists would slowly piece together the story of a controversial cultural and religious revolution that swept across ancient Egypt under the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten and his Great Royal Wife Nefertiti.

Recent news of the possible discovery of Nefertiti’s tomb sent a shockwave of excitement through Egyptologist communities around the world. In a paper published in July, British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves suggested that Nefertiti’s final resting place might be located just behind secret doorways in the famous tomb of her step-son King Tutankhamun – passageways that were closed off and plastered and painted over.


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