Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the woman who inspired one of the best known artefacts from ancient Egypt. The Bust of Nefertiti is multicoloured and symmetrical, about 49cm/18” high and, despite the missing left eye, still holds the gaze of onlookers below its tall, blue, flat topped headdress. Its discovery in 1912 in Amarna was kept quiet at first but its display in Berlin in the 1920s caused a sensation, with replicas sent out across the world. Ever since, as with Tutankhamun perhaps, the concrete facts about Nefertiti herself have barely kept up with the theories, the legends and the speculation, reinvigorated with each new discovery.

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  • Aidan Dodson 2 episodes
    Honorary Professor of Egyptology at the University of Bristol
  • Joyce Tyldesley No other episodes
    Professor of Egyptology at the University of Manchester
  • Kate Spence 4 episodes
    Senior Lecturer in Egyptian Archaeology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Emmanuel College

Reading list

  • The Royal Women of Amarna: Images of Beauty from Ancient Egypt
    Dorothea Arnold (ed.) (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996) Google Books →
  • The Rock Tombs of el-Amarna
    Norman de Garis Davies (Egypt Exploration Society, 1903-1908) Google Books →
  • Amarna Sunset: Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb and the Egyptian Counter-reformation
    Aidan Dodson (American University in Cairo Press, 2009) Google Books →
  • Nefertiti, Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt: her life and afterlife
    Aidan Dodson (American University in Cairo Press, 2020) Google Books →
  • Tutankhamun: King of Egypt: his life and afterlife
    Aidan Dodson (American University in Cairo Press, 2022) Google Books →
  • The City of Akhenaten and Nefertiti: Amarna and Its People
    Barry Kemp (Thames and Hudson, 2012) Google Books →
  • Akhenaten: History, Fantasy and Ancient Egypt
    Dominic Montserrat (Routledge, 2002) Google Books →
  • In the Light of Amarna: 100 Years of the Nefertiti Discovery
    Friederike Seyfried (ed.) (Agyptisches Museum und Papyrussamlung Staatlich Museen zu Berlin/ Michael Imhof Verlag, 2013)
  • Tutankhamun: Pharaoh, Icon, Enigma
    Joyce Tyldesley (Headline, 2022) Google Books →
  • Nefertiti's Face: The Creation of an Icon
    Joyce Tyldesley (Profile Books, 2018) Google Books →
  • Nefertiti: Egypt's Sun Queen
    Joyce Tyldesley (Viking, 1998) Google Books →

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Programme ID: m001vbnb

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Auto-category: 932 (Ancient Egypt)