The ancestors are surely turning in their graves after a life-like Nefertiti bust was revealed on the TODAY Show this week showcasing a rather odd depiction of the queen. The version that has sparked international outrage seems to resemble a white woman. A team led by Expedition Unknown’s Josh Gates created the bust. As soon as the covers were lifted from its face, people began to erupt in fury.
The only part that seems to be accurate in the depiction is the Queen’s regal jewelry and costuming, other than that, her facial features were questionable. The bust’s jawline, forehead, skin tone, lips, and eyes have become the centerpiece for debates criticizing the inaccuracy of the new reenactment. Many people have taken to social media to point out the obvious, this is clearly a bust of someone of Caucasian descent.
There isn’t much historical evidence regarding the bloodline and lineage of Queen Nefertiti (mother of one of Egypt’s most famous royal King Tut). What we do know is that her reign as Queen, alongside her husband King Akhenaten predates Islamic/Arab conquest. Many who support the replica allege that because of Arab influence, the features of the Ancient Egyptians would have resembled features of most modern Middle Easterners. For many, that age-old theory is just an attempt to erase the blackness of the Ancient Egyptians from history.
To most people (those that have completed basic educational courses) there are obvious flaws in the bust. Many are also pointing out that this one looks nothing like the dark-skinned depiction of the queen in the famous portrait bust from 1345 BC, created by Thutmose. It’s also hard to digest this depiction being that there is no clear resemblance of African ancestry. The overall outcry seems to be that the bust is simply a failed attempt to rewrite history. I guess it’s back to the drawing board for Expedition Unknown.
The Twitter outrage was evident. Many people didn’t want to make sense of the clear whitewashing of Egyptian history. From celebrities, TV personalities, and more – everyone seems to be talking about the bust. With mummies being exhumed from their graves with natural hair and clear features of the Negroid racial category, how could this ‘forensic’ representation be so misrepresented?
We’re unsure of the magnitude of backlash the TODAY Show or Expedition Unknown has received in light of the reveal but we hope somewhere along the line someone gets history right.
What are your thoughts on the Nefertiti replica?