Scientists reconstructed the face of a 2,000-year-old mummy

10/14/2021, 10:20:54 AM
Scientists reconstructed the face of a 2,000-year-old mummy This is the face of an 18- to 25-year-old woman who lived 2,000 years ago, according to a team of Australian scientists. Researchers at the University of Melbourne used modern technology to recreate the face of the woman they named Meritamun, ScienceAlert reports. The craziest part: The groundbreaking project began totally by accident, when a university employee found a mummified head in the school's basement. During a recent audit of the university's archaeological collection, that employee happened upon a small sampling of mummified remains — including a complete head, still encased in linen wrappings. No ones knows exactly how it ended up in the school's medical building, but it may have been acquired by a archaeologist-turned-anatomy professor who taught there in the 1930s, according to a report from the school. The researchers were worried that the skull was rotting from the inside — but they didn't want to risk further damage to the specimen by removing its wrappings. Instead, they opted for a non-invasive CT scan, which revealed that the skull was remarkably well preserved. Next, the team fed the CT scan images into a 3D printer. After 140 hours of printing, they were left with a perfect replica of the original skull. That's when they called in Dr. Janet Davey, a forensic Egyptologist from Monash University, who used clues in the bone structure (small jaw, narrow mouth, rounder eye sockets) to determine that the skull belonged to a woman, not a man. Finally, pro forensic sculptor Jennifer Mann was recruited to recreate the mummy's face with clay using a methodology that involves approximating key tissue depths and measurements throughout the skull. The mummy's hair was then based off a style worn by an Egyptian woman, Lady Rai, who lived around 1570-1530 BCE and whose mummified body is now in the Egypt Museum in Cairo. Article by journalist Caroline Praderio - in the newspaper Insider

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