3D Scan of Nefertiti Released to the Public

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Scientists scanned a famous statue of Queen Nefertiti years ago but would not release the details of the scan to the public until now. After years of effort, an artist by the name of Cosmo Wenman was able to obtain the files and release them on Thingiverse, a hub for 3D printable files.

Queen Nefertiti is famous now because of the statue, which is considered a masterpiece of ancient sculpture and unmatched until the Greek classical period. She was also the wife of Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharoah of the 18th dynasty.

Bust of Nefertiti, a masterpiece of ancient Egyptian art. Image By Philip Pikart – Own work, CC BY-SA

Akhenaten and Nefertiti were part of a sweeping religious revolution in Egypt by moving the kingdom to monotheism. They were responsible for banning the worship of all gods except Aten, the sun disk god. Akhenaten also had the capital of Egypt moved to the new city of Akhetaten. The revolution was short lived, however, because his reign was unpopular with the priests of Egypt. After he was killed, all traces of him and Nefertiti were erased from the official history of Egypt and the capital was moved back to Thebes.

Nefertiti and Akhenaten are also famous for being the parents of King Tutankhamun. It is not clear if Nefertiti was the biological mother of King “Tut” but she was almost certainly involved in raising the child.

In 1340 BC, the court sculptor Thutmose was commissioned to carve the bust of Nefertiti out of limestone, most likely at his workshop in the abandoned city of Akhetaten.

Despite having scanned the famous bust years ago, the files were kept from the public until now. Now, anyone can download them and print their own copy using a 3D printer.

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