100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Bust Of Egyptian Queen Discovered

Ludwig Borchardt studied Architecture and later Egyptology. In 1895 he journeyed to Cairo and helped produced the Catalogue of the Egyptian Museum. In 1907 he founded the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, becoming its director. In 1912 Ludwig headed a dig at Tel-al Amarna, Egypt under the auspices of the German Archaeological Institute.

On December 6, 1912 Borchardt was digging in what had been the workshop of a sculptor named Thutmose. A pair of busts portraying the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten of the Eighteenth dynasty and his queen, Neferititi had once set upon a wooden shelf until termite damage caused both objects to topple. While the pharaoh’s statue was shattered, Nefertiti’s bust survived because it had happened to land, upside down, on its flat top.

“Suddenly we had in our hands the most alive Egyptian artwork. You cannot describe it with words. You must see it.”

19121206B
The first presentation of the bust of Nefertiti following its discovery on December 6, 1912

The first presentation of the bust of Nefertiti following its discovery on December 6, 1912

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