Has the world been blinded by Nefertiti’s beauty?

Nefertiti’s beguiling bust has today made her one of the most widely recognised figures of the ancient world. But, asks Joyce Tyldesley, do this Egyptian queen’s accomplishments 3,000 years ago really merit her modern-day acclaim?


This article was first published in the January 2018 edition of BBC History Magazine

In 1333 BC the young Egyptian king Tutankhamun decided to abandon the royal city of Amarna. The sculptor Thutmose, supervisor of a large workshop specialising in the production of royal images, was a man entirely dependent on royal patronage. He had little choice but to pack up his tools and follow his king. Thutmose sailed away from Amarna, leaving behind a city filled with royal sculptures and a storeroom crammed with unwanted works of art.

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