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Some of the many Egyptian statues that are missing their noses

Why are Noses Missing from so Many Egyptian Statues?

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One of the most common questions you will hear within art history’s circles is “Why are the noses missing from so many ancient Egyptian statues?” Is it just a coincidence, or could it possibly be a conspiracy?

Natural Erosion Has Played a Role  

Several archaeologists have suggested erosion could be one of the main reasons this happens to many ancient statues. Harsh winds, shifting mud and sand dunes, the flowing of water, and thousands of years of feet and hands pitter-pattering over relatively delicate materials such as marble and stone will most likely have a pretty damaging effect. Many of these ancient statues have been exposed to these elements for a very long time, while others have been buried under tons of mud and sand for centuries, it's usually the extremities, such as arms, legs and noses that get damaged the most and eventually disappear.

Statues of a young Tutankhamun and his consort Ankesenamun outside at Luxor Temple, Luxor, Egypt.

Statues of a young Tutankhamun and his consort Ankesenamun outside at Luxor Temple, Luxor, Egypt. (Ad Meskens/ CC BY SA 3.0 )

Human Intervention is Definitely Another Major Factor  

Vandalism could be another major factor as to why this phenomenon appears so frequently. A recent example, not in Egypt, is the statue of the famous philosopher Aristotle, which is welcoming visitors at the entrance of the ancient Assos site, in Turkey. The statue of Aristotle, known as the founder of the first philosophy school in history, was erected in 2009 by the Culture Ministry of Turkey at the entrance to the ancient Assos site in the Ayvacık district, but in 2015 it was vandalized after its right arm was removed, while severe distortion was noted on the statue’s face as well.

Who or what damaged this statue of the Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Haremheb as a scribe? Did vandals take his nose?

Who or what damaged this statue of the Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Haremheb as a scribe? Did vandals take his nose? ( Aryeh Shershow /CC BY SA 3.0 )

It has also been noted before that several archaeologists during the late 19th and early 20th century, lacking the finer instruments and procedures we have today and in a hurry to be the first to discover the "next big thing", were responsible for some of the most hideous damages ever committed against classical sculpture.

Of course, religion has also played a huge part, even though extremist Muslims aren't the only ones who have been caught in the act as many people falsely believe today. Christians, Jews, and many other known religions have also taken part in the shameful act of vandalism throughout the centuries and are responsible for the de-nosing and dismembering of many cultural and historical treasures.

Video at: http://splash.abc.net.au/home#!/media/1567326/who-broke-the-sphinx-s-nose-

Could it be Racism?

According to some scholars, there was a deliberate attempt by early Egyptologists to deny and hide that Ancient Egypt was an African culture. According to the written account of Vivant Denon, a French artist, writer and archaeologist who etched the image of the Sphinx of Giza around 1798, the facial features of the famous monument appeared to be of African origin,

...Though its proportions are colossal, the outline is pure and graceful; the expression of the head is mild, gracious, and tranquil; the character is African, but the mouth, and lips of which are thick, has a softness and delicacy of execution truly admirable; it seems real life and flesh. Art must have been at a high pitch when this monument was executed; for, if the head wants what is called style, that is the say, the straight and bold lines which give expression to the figures under which the Greeks have designated their deities, yet sufficient justice has been rendered to the fine simplicity and character of nature which is displayed in this figure.

The Great Sphinx in 1867. Note its unrestored condition, still partially buried body, and man standing beneath its ear.

The Great Sphinx in 1867. Note its unrestored condition, still partially buried body, and man standing beneath its ear. ( Public Domain )

However, this theory fails to explain why so many ancient Greek and Roman statues are de-nosed and dismembered as well. Noses on the vast majority of ancient Greek and Roman stone sculptures are missing too. While some of these have inevitably broken off accidentally, it’s pretty evident that an overwhelming number of them have been deliberately targeted. Since it’s historically, archaeologically and scientifically proven that the ancient Greeks and Romans were of European (Caucasian) origin, in this case racism wasn’t likely to have been a reason for the intentional de-nosing of those statues.

Humiliation

It has been recorded that later Egyptian dynasties would often deface statues of past monarchs in order to erase or diminish their legacy. In these cases the removal of the nose would be accompanied by other, more extensive facial disfigurements, as well as the destruction of inscriptions and symbols of office.

Busts of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.

Busts of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. (kairoinfo4u/ CC BY NC SA 2.0 )

In conclusion, the suggestion that the statues had their noses removed specifically to “hide” the race of the individuals they depicted is definitely not a theory to fully dismiss, but it’s only a theory for now, with no solid archaeological proof and evidence verifying it. So, for one to answer with confidence the question why so many Egyptian statues are missing their noses, they should be able to explain with certainty why the same happened with so many statues of Greek, Persian, and Roman origin as well.

Top Image: Some of the many Egyptian statues that are missing their noses - Neferure and Senenmut ( CC BY SA 3.0 ), Great Sphinx of Giza (Diego Delso/ CC BY SA 3.0 ), 'Green Head' of a statue of a priest ( Society for the Promotion of the Egyptian Museum Berlin ), Head from a female sphinx ( Brooklyn Museum ), statue of a Man ( Public Domain ), and Senusret III   (Public Domain ).

By: Theodoros Karasavvas

References

Bradley, M. (2015) Effaced: the missing noses of classical antiquity. http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/argonautsandemperors/2015/10/23/effaced-the-missing-noses-of-classical-antiquity/

Kemet Expert (2016). Why are the noses missing from Egyptian statues? http://kemetexpert.com/why_are_the_noses_missing_from_egyptian_statues/

SAFItech (n.d). Why No Noses On Statues? http://www.eastart.net/no-noses-statues/

Comments

I have an additional theory as to why so many god/goddess depictions are also missing the nose, eyes or face completely. Most blatantly this can be seen in the temple of Hathor in Dendera. All but 1 untouched face of Hathor out of hundreds can still be found. Erosion, humilation, vandalisme or racial issues can be discarded easily. Erosion does not happen inside a temple to that degree, humiliation does not apply to a goddess, vandalisme does not explain the amount of damage (they had to build scaffolding and have spent years and years to destroy this temples depictions systematically). Racial motives are also highly unlikely the Egyptian gods were to me a bit androgynes but I could not for the life of me pin them to 1 race. However the structural controlled damage inflicted must have been done according to a plan and meticulously carried out over an extended period of time. My opinion is that Kopts and later Islamic people new the pagans worshipped these gods and believed they can be imbued with power. Offerings to statues were a highly sophisticated sytem of training the mind to attune more to a specific emanation of the one god represented by the statue. Perhaps the later religions feared this cult in the same sense medieval clergy feared witches? Or perhaps they did ot want the cult to continue and as log as the gods faces were visible they were considered functional and people would continue to do so? They most likely also did not want to destroy the magnificent building but reuse them to their own purposes (like the Luxor temple for example). To me this is not unlike christians chopping down holy oaks and then building their shrines and churches there. The people will still showe up and now deprived of its former rgalia they could instill new ones and flock the people to their cause.

I'm afraid most of your comment is biased and based on an unproven notion that North Africa was occupied by black Africans when Egypt was erected. I know the reasons for their missing nose and it has absolutely zero to do with hiding history from a people of an unknown future who would want to find the ethnic background of a particular people or group. I will leave my comment in saying that the Egyptians did not expect to fall Northern Empire to waste away in the Sands of the desert. So to conclude that somehow archaeologist remove the noses of these statues because they believed they were of one particular ethnic group before ever knowing the translation on the walls before ever knowing how many actual Royal mummies there is still left to be found or whether not any invasions from other civilizations had any impact on their genealogy. With that being said no one here is denying that there were Nubians in Egypt. However the Nubians are very distinct and both morphology and culture from that of the Egyptians. But I am getting off track let's get back to the nose issue. There are a lot of statues missing many different body parts but more often than not it is the nose that ends up missing and there is a perfectly reasonable and cultural explanation for this. If you knew anything of the Egyptian religion and their way of thinking anyone with two brain cells to activate would have come to this conclusion themselves. When Engine Egyptians created effigies of the people or royalty in power they saw that statue as no different than the person it represents. Egyptians also like many proud cultures often did not put on for display their shortcomings especially when it came to their present rulers. They always displayed themselves in a positive light giving no evidence in their carvings, hieroglyphs, etchings, or writings to their mistakes. However this does not mean that everyone else around them forgets those mistakes or shortcomings. It is then in their culture that when that particular person dies and they've made a few blunders that may have caught someone their life, or job, or seat in the Royal House, they retaliate. In the Gyptian religion there is What's called the Ka. And it represents every aspect of a single living being all the way down to even their shadow. This entity passes through the living world into the Afterlife with the person or body it represents. What they represent in particular are the human senses; sight, hearing, feeling, taste, and "smelling". In the afterlife of Egypt before heading to the Stars to join the Pharaohs one has to go through the house of Osiris where Sobek and Yenipu (Anubis) await them before the throne. In order for you to reach the house of Osiris your Ka has to have both all the senses from your former life to have them exist in the afterlife. This is where logic fuses with the reason why most of the time you find either the arms or the nose missing from statues of ancient Egypt; it would be because of how the statues are carved and depending on their base the easiest things to break off would indeed be the arms or the nose. It's really a choice of physics when you want you break something quickly because you can't really bust off the ears of an Egyptian statue you really can't bust off the tongue of an Egyptian statue and it takes an awful amount of time to Chisel out the eyes of an Egyptian statue so that leaves only two other senses which is the sense of smell and the sense of touch. Unless the arms are resting on something like a throne or they are carb in such a manner where they're attached to the person side and a rigid form the easiest thing to break off then would be the only thing with the smallest base protruding from the form which of course is the nose. Unless that particular Egyptian did something really really terrible that whom ever intended to dismember their effigy took the time to remove the harder parts of the statue most of the time you're going to find only the nose or the arms missing. If that persons Ka has not all five senses in the afterlife then you cannot enter the house of Osiris. This is in tandem to the reason why Sobek and Anubis await the arrival of Egyptian royalty with the scales between them and the Throne of Osiris to find for themselves whether or not they had committed any wrongdoing. However if the Egyptians during his living life found it shooting to pass judgment upon his or her preparations to meet Osiris in the afterlife and desecrate their effigy then both the soul of that particular Egyptian and their Ka will remain lost in the Darkness of the Void never reaching the stars of the Kings. So to recap any missing parts from a particular statue that they can prove happened in ancient times and not some accident from moving the statue then it's a sure bet that whomever that statue represents piss someone off and when that person died decided that before they could be put in their sarcophagus they would never rejoin the kings of their past! In order to enter the house of Osiris you must have all five senses all five senses are connected to the heart which is weighed against the feather from the wings of Horus. If you have not all your five senses that means your soul and your heart are not complete and you cannot be incomplete to meet Osiris because all the kings and queens have to be perfect and whole before joining their kin in the Egyptian Heaven.

This is called real studying not racist biased bullshit. I am study Egypt from its ancient culture all the way to the Coptic writing form for the past 12 years. In fact the word Coptic is a derivative of the word Egyptian so in reality your reiterating a class of original Egyptians by saying Coptic Egyptian because you're really saying Egyptian Egyptians. It is the same people that still use the Coptic writing and the ancient translation simultaneously and teach it to their children. Furthermore if a royal statue does not have the double cobra on its crown no matter if it is from lower middle or Upper Egypt it is not a Nubian pharaoh. Only the Nubian pharaohs wore the double cobra on their crowns. The first invasion of Nubians in Egypt brought both the upper and lower kingdoms together which is why they used the two headed cobra. King Piye and his Son; Prince Taqahara (ms) took Egypt for themselves and drained their treasury dry hoarding luxuries from many lands and a narcissistic campaign employed by his son to make statues and busts of he and his kin. There reign only last around 77 years but caused an irreversible Devastation of their riches and resources that apparently they never recovered from leaving the delta in ruins. In fact it is Prince Taqahara's face that adorns the Sphinx which apparently was part of his overwhelming narcissism to change the face of Egypt. This is why the head of the Sphinx is very disproportionate to the rest of the body because at one time it was a lion's head.

William Bradshaw's picture

I have encountered this question about the missing noses and pondered this mystery for a long time. After having gone through 12,000 years of history and having to piece together the truth, I have a strong suspicion that this was not vandalism at all but an attempt to hide history. They do not want people to discover the truth about our real history because it will endanger their nefarious plan to dominate the world.

In my opinion, the real reason for the smashed noses on these statues is to hide the hooked noses that are directly attributable to a Semitic peoples. It was a subset of Semitic people called the Hyksos that invaded Egypt, enslaved the native Egyptians for 511 years and were eventually usurped and then enslaved themselves for 430 years.

The ancestors of the Hyksos eventually left Egypt in what is known as the Exodus. They then regrouped and attacked Egypt under the banner of the Hittites. The Hittites were unable to defeat the real Egyptians and it was a considered a draw by some historians but I would consider it a victory for the real Egyptians. This is well documented on cuneiform tablets. Once must realize that the Hyksos or Hittites or Hebrews were originally from Turkey where they were known as Anatolians or Akkadians.

History has been expunged or rewritten by these people for thousands of years in order to cover up their atrocities, their true purpose and their true masters, the Hidden Ones. The Hidden Ones were ones that actually built the pyramids as well as many other megalithic structures around the globe. The Hidden Ones have been known by many names such as troglodytes, giants, gods, aliens, Big Foot, Sasquatch, Yeti, Rephaim, Anunnaki and Nephilim (which is incorrect as Nephilim were triploid humans which are smaller). As a scientist I merely refer to them as tetraploid humans who have doubled chromosomes.

I provide complete proof of what I have stated here in my book, Secrets of the Pink Kush.

  

William H. Bradhaw, Dipl. T, CPIM
http://SecretsPinkKush.ZapperSoftware.com

I enjoyed your post.

I enjoyed your post.

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