Expert reveals why statues from ancient Egypt often have their noses smashed

Why statues from ancient Egypt are often missing their noses: Expert says tomb-robbers deliberately destroyed vital parts to prevent vengeful spirits from coming after them Brooklyn Museum curator Edward Bleiberg explores phenomenon in new exhibit He says the smashing of noses was a form of 'deliberate destruction' long ago Statues thought to hold the soul of the deceased, so robbers often ruined them  Destroying the nose would prevent statue from breathing, effectively 'killing' it

By Cheyenne Macdonald For Dailymail.com

Published: 23:10 GMT, 14 March 2019 | Updated: 23:10 GMT, 14 March 2019

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From statues of royalty to sculptures of the gods and goddesses these rulers worshipped, there is a peculiar trait many ancient Egyptian works of art share today – they’re missing the nose.

It’s something that could easily be dismissed as a consequence of time, were it not for what experts say is a clear pattern of ‘deliberate destruction,’ Artsy Magazine reports.

According to Brooklyn Museum curator Edward Bleiberg, who has been investigating the bizarre phenomenon, this form of mutilation may have been the work of grave robbers attempting to prevent angry spirits from seeking revenge.

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From statues of royalty to sculptures of the gods and goddesses these rulers worshipped, there is a peculiar trait many ancient Egyptian works of art share today – they’re missing the nose

It’s something that could easily be dismissed as a consequence of time, were it not for what experts say is a clear pattern of ‘deliberate destruction,’ Artsy Magazine reports

From statues of royalty to sculptures of the gods and goddesses these rulers worshipped, there is a peculiar trait many ancient Egyptian works of art share today – they’re missing the nose

WHY WOULD ROBBERS BREAK STATUE NOSES?

For the ancient Egyptians, sculptures were thought to be somewhat of a vessel for the soul of the person they represented or were inscribed for.

By smashing a part of the statue, grave-robbing vandals likely believed they could ‘deactivate an image’s strength,’ Brooklyn Museum curator Edward Bleiberg told Artsy.

‘The damaged part of the body is no longer able to do its job,’ he added. Thus, by ruining the nose, the statue would lose its ability to ‘breathe.’

Effectively killing the statue's power was a way for grave robbers to ensure the spirits did not come for them.

Numerous examples of nose-less effigies

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