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3,000-Year-Old Pair Of Legs Belonged To Ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertari

(Photo credit: RADEK MICA/AFP/Getty Images)

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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A 3,000-year-old pair of legs discovered in Italy in 1904 have finally been identified as belonging to ancient Egyptian queen Nefertari.

The queen’s tomb was unearthed by Italian Egyptologist Ernesto Schiaperalli in Egypt’s Valley of the Queens over a century ago.

“Her burial was plundered in ancient times yet still many objects were found broken in the debris when the tomb was excavated. Amongst the found objects was a pair of mummified legs. They came to the Egyptian Museum in Turin and are henceforth regarded as the remains of this famous Queen, although they were never scientifically investigated,” according to a new archaeological study published in Plos One.

Nefertari was famous for not only being the well-liked wife of King Ramses II, but for also playing an active role in foreign affairs.

“The remains of Nefertari are considered as highly important for History and Egyptology since Nefertari is one of the most famous Queens of Ancient Egypt,” the study’s described objective reads.

The methodology for the experimentation included “radiocarbon dating,” as well as DNA and chemical analysis. This allowed the international team of archaeologists, led by the United Kingdom’s University of York, to find out that the legs belonged to a woman around Nefertari’s age at the time of her death.

The testing also gave the scientists insight on the mummification techniques and what era they were probably from, as well as the fact that the type of sandals found in the tomb likely belonged to someone important.

“Thus, the most likely scenario is that the mummified knees truly belong to Queen Nefertari. Although this identification is highly likely, no absolute certainty exists,” the study concludes.

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