Is This the Face of King Tut's Mother?

Expedition Unknown makes a groundbreaking discovery in a two-part special exploring the legacies of Egypt's greatest female rulers.


Photo By: Sima Diab

Photo By: Sima Diab




Photo By: Sima Diab

New Rendering of Ancient Ruler Nefertiti

The body of Nefertiti, one of the most powerful women in the world, has never been found. But thanks to what we know about her marital past and about a DNA match to a mummy in Cairo's Egyptian Museum, we may now be able to put a realistic face to her name.

Great Women of Ancient Egypt

In a two-part special of Expedition Unknown, Josh Gates explores the largely forgotten -- and erased -- legacies of ancient Egypt's greatest female rulers, including Nefertiti, who was the wife of legendary ruler King Tut's father, Akhenaten.

Cairo's Egyptian Museum

A mummy known as the Younger Lady rests in Cairo's Egyptian Museum, where she was confirmed through DNA testing to be the mother of King Tut.

The Younger Lady - Before

Thanks to this DNA revelation, many now speculate that the Younger Lady is, therefore, the body of Nefertiti. With the help of Josh and Egyptologist Dr. Aidan Dodson of Bristol University, artist Elisabeth Daynes -- known for her groundbreaking recreating of King Tut in 2005 -- created a bust of the Younger Lady from 3D scans of her body.

The Younger Lady - After

Daynes then recreated a realistic bust of what Nefertiti may have actually looked like during her rule in ancient Egypt.

No Easy Feat

The 3D scans seen in Expedition Unknown's upcoming two-part special were not easy to procure. But they're groundbreaking in more ways than one: "This is a unique and exciting moment that allows us to look into the past and help restore the dignity of an incredibly significant woman," Josh said. "The bone structure and the features are remarkably consistent with ancient depictions. I believe this is the true face of Nefertiti."

From the Artist

It took artist Elisabeth Daynes more than 500 hours to create the bust. Everything down to the jewelry, handcrafted by designers who work for Dior, took painstaking attention to detail. "This project is very special and very complex," Daynes said. "I worked closely with forensic paleopathologists and anthropologists to determine accurate muscle, skin and soft tissue depth. Everything was meticulously calculated by hand."

More on 'Expedition Unknown'

Get a closer look into the creation of the bust and into the pasts of great female rulers like Nefertiti on the two-part special of Expedition Unknown, starting Feb. 7 at 9|8c.

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