– In 1904, archaeologists discovered a pair of mummified legs in the plundered tomb of Queen Nefertari in Egypt’s Valley of the Queens.
The 3,200-year old legs were stored at the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy and no-one really bothered to investigate them in detail.
Now, a new analysis conducted by an international team of researchers revealed the ancient mummified legs actually belonged to Queen Nefertari. The results of the findings are based on tests that included radiocarbon dating, anthropology, paleopathology, genetic studies, and chemical tests.
The legs can now help scientists to at least determine the Egyptian Queen’s height. Of course, without a face and other body parts we will never be able to recreate a more precise image of what Queen Nefertari looked like.
Tests show the legs belonged to someone about 5 feet, 5 inches tall, taller than average for the time. Inside Queen Nefertari’s tomb there was also a pair of ornate sandals designed for a person of about the same height.
Known for her beauty, wisdom and her active role in foreign politics, Queen Nefertari was the wife of Pharaoh Ramses II and one of the most famous of Egypt’s queens.
Pharaoh Ramses II had over 200 wives and mistresses, but Nefertari was the first woman he married.
Queen Nefertari’s beautifully decorated tomb was plundered in ancient times, yet still many objects were found broken in the debris when the tomb was excavated.
The fact that the mummified legs were discovered inside the tomb also suggests they belonged to the famous Egyptian Queen.
What happened with Queen Nefertari’s mummified body is not entirely clear. According to Egyptologist Joann Fletcher from the University of York Nefertari’s mummy was torn apart by desperate grave robbers trying to steal gold and jewelry in its wrappings before guards could stop them: “You do get that feeling that there’s a real degree of ripping apart human remains to get to the wealth,” Fletcher said.