Long-Hidden 3D Scan of Ancient Egyptian Nefertiti Bust Finally Revealed

"Carved in limestone by the court sculptor Thutmos in 1340 B.C., the bust shows the queen as "a grown woman with a harmonic and balanced beauty," according to a description on the museum's website."

I had no idea that the bust of Nefertiti was carved from limestone. This gives us the reason for its longevity and for its beauty. For some reason I always thought it was constructed from man made materials. In any case, the bust weighs some 44 pounds.

Limestone is a soft rock that is relatively easy to carve and can have a wide variety of textures. Composed of the mineral calcite, it was formed on the ocean floor from compacted sediment and the shells of early sea creatures.

Limestone has natural bed lines that make it easier to break apart and are more visible when wet. It will make it easier to carve if you follow the natural direction of the bed. Small cracks in the stone must be found before sculpting because they could break off when carving.

Thutmos was an outstanding sculptor and was able to bring this queen to life in a medium which has lasted through the millennia.