The “Broken Nose Puzzle” has intrigued experts and enthusiasts of ancient Egypt, one of the oldest and most enduring civilizations in the world, for decades.
Although it was thought to be due to the passage of time, it was strange that among the many original statues, the only thing missing was the nose. Likewise, the only missing piece was the two-dimensional relief work.
The most reliable answer at the moment can be summed up in one word: iconoclasm, from the Greek word Eikonoklasmos, which means “to break the image”.
We are not talking about the followers of the eighth-century current who rejected and destroyed the cult of sacred images and persecuted those who venerated them.
In this case, the term is used more broadly to designate the social belief in the importance of destroying icons, images or other monuments, often for religious or political reasons.
And that makes a lot of sense when you consider that for the ancient Egyptians, statues were the point of contact between divine and terrestrial beings.
Objects that represent the human form, in stone, metal, wood, clay or even wax, can be occupied by a deity or a human who died and became a divine being, thus being able to act in the physical world.
Once occupied, the images had powers that could be activated through rituals. They can also be disabled due to intentional damage.
Why are you doing this? The reasons were many, from anger and resentment towards enemies who wanted to harm them in this world and beyond, to the horror of revenge grave robbers for the deceased, as well as a desire to rewrite history or their dreams. Change the whole culture.
When Tutankhamun’s father, Akhenaten, who ruled from 1353-1336 BC, wanted Egyptian religion to revolve around a deity, Aten, the sun god, encountered a powerful being: the god Amun.
His weapon was the destruction of images.
The situation was reversed when Akhenaten died and the Egyptian people resumed traditional worship: the temples and monuments commemorating Aten and the late pharaoh were destroyed.
So the distortion was meant to reduce the force and that can be achieved in a number of ways.
If you wanted to prevent the humans pictured from making much-needed offerings to the gods, you could remove the arm that was normally used for such a task: the left arm.
If you’d rather God not hear you, I remove God’s ears.
If your intention is to end all possibilities of communication, then separating the head from the body was a good option.
But perhaps the quickest and most effective way to satisfy your cravings is to remove your nose.
“The nose was the source of the soul, the breath of life; The easiest way to kill the inner soul is to strangle it by taking out the nose.”
A few blows with a hammer and chisel, and the problem was solved.