This is a fascinating post from Realm of History that offers us the faces of King Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti via facial reconstruction and photoshop animation. There are actually two videos. Click the link and scroll down to see a facial reconstruction of both the king and queen and read their story.
In this image (a reconstruction by Sven Geruschkat) Nefertiti is wearing a gold broad collar decorated with faience beads similar to the one the archaeologist discovers in my urban fantasy mystery, To Sleep with Stones. The writer also explains the political turmoil and chaos that Akhenaten created when he attempted to change the religious views of the people. My story concerns their daughter, Meritaten.
During the chaos, Meritaten flees Egypt and ends up in Scotland where she loses her gold broad collar. Twenty-five hundred years later, archaeologist Sorcha O’Hallorhan discovers it at the bottom of a well in Kilmartin Glen, a landscape rife with megaliths. Her discovery sets off a chain of events that ends in murder.
SORCHA FOUND IT IN THE MUD. Pried it from beneath a thin flat stone with tenderness and a trowel—a mud-encrusted, green-tinged, tangled mess. Dylan watched, so entranced he couldn’t breathe.
When she popped the trowel back in the faded caddy, she wore tied around her waist, he inhaled at last. Peeling off one glove, and then the other, she let them fall. As she cradled the object in her palm, her green eyes flickered as if it was speaking to her, and his mind flared again. Did she share his gift? Perhaps, have a talent for psychometry? Imagine holding a golden torque in your hand and seeing its tale unfold in cinematic brilliance. Imagine knowing whose head it adorned, where all it had travelled, and how many lives it had saved, or snuffed out.
She squatted, dipped her treasure reverently in a bucket of water; then cleansed it with her bare fingers. Sorcha was a renegade archaeologist who didn’t always follow procedure or stick to the grid. He usually admired that, but today it gave him shivers.
Kai stamped his foot like a nervous horse, and shone the torch. “Gold,” he murmured, with sly elation, and Dylan cringed, knowing he was considering the cash that could be made from the sale of such an artifact on the black market.
“Thank you, god,” she whispered, cupping it to her breast. It was just an expression—the only god she worshipped was fame. Sorcha O’Hallorhan was searching for archaeological connections between the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, where they currently stood, and a land twenty-five hundred miles southeast. Egypt. This artifact was quite possibly the connecting cord; the evidence she needed to prove a legend real and grasp that fame.
“Is it—?” asked Dylan.
“Aye lads.” She fondled the turquoise beads. Faience. Just like the beads that adorned the golden collar of King Tut. “I knew we’d find her.” She was Meritaten, eldest daughter of Egyptian King Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti. It was the stuff of story, and to prove it true would change the way the world viewed prehistory.
Kai reached out his large rough hand. He wanted to hold it.
But Sorcha drew back, slipped it in her vest pocket and began climbing the rope ladder.
They’d dug down nearly eighteen feet into a pre-Celtic holy well because Sorcha had a theory. People offered gifts to the guardians of holy wells; and sometimes too, they used them to hide things. At this depth, the team had already travelled back in time three millenniums, and unearthed a scattering of bronze axe heads, obsidian arrowheads, jet beads and pottery shards; the skull of an extinct great auk with its long curved bill still intact; the shed antlers of a stag; and sadly, a malformed infant. But that was nothing compared to this.