Unwrapped: Mummified knees discovered a century ago most likely belong to Egypt's Queen Nefertari!
Queen Nefertari was thought to be the favourite wife of Ramesses II, the empire’s most powerful pharaoh.
New Delhi: A century ago, during the excavations conducted in the Valley of Queens, a pair of dismembered legs were uncovered in an Egyptian tomb.
The mummified limbs have lain in a museum in Turin ever since and has finally begin to reveal its secrets.
Yes! Archaeologists analysing the 3,000-year-old remains believe they could belong to Queen Nefertari, a royal wife of Pharaoh Ramesses the Great.
Queen Nefertari was thought to be the favourite wife of Ramesses II, the empire’s most powerful pharaoh. While carrying out an excavation in her tomb, Italian archaeologists only came across her remains left behind by looters.
Among the ruins is where they recovered three sections of mummified legs which were thought to belong to Nerfertari.
However, an international team, including researchers from the University of York, carried out new analysis using modern scientific techniques so as to confirm the identity of the person the legs belonged to.
As per the Daily Mail, the researchers found the legs belong to a middle-aged to older woman who was around 5 feet 5 inches (165cm) tall and may have had arthritis.
They believe the person was between 40 and 60 when they died – the same age group as Nefertari.
The height is also consistent to the size of ancient sandals found in the tomb, believed to be Nefertari's.
Writing in a paper published this week in the online journal PLOS One, they say: ‘the most likely scenario is that the mummified knees truly belong to Queen Nefertari’.
The researchers also discovered that the balm used in the mummification process was consistent with that used during the reign of Ramesses.
Merged together, the evidence points toward Nefertari, rather than her daughters who were buried in the tomb.
Dr Stephen Buckley and Professor Joann Fletcher from the University of York’s Department of Archaeology were instrumental in the chemical analysis of the remains.
'We are reasonably confident given all the evidence,' Dr Buckley told MailOnline.
'Although a later intrusive burial was a serious consideration before our study, the radiocarbon dating rules out this possibility.
He added: 'It is also highly unlikely that that another earlier royal was at some point put in this later tomb, which was made specifically for Queen Nefertari.
'In addition, the location of her tomb makes the likelihood of another royal or elite mummy being 'accidentally washed into the tomb' from an ancient flash flood extremely remote, if not impossible,' the Daily Mail reported.
Dr Buckley added: 'We can only assume that tomb robbers broke up her body as they looked for valuable gold and silver amulets within the wrappings of her mummified body.
'Why only the mummified knees survived and not the rest of her body remains a mystery.'