An evolved facial reconstruction technique used by a team of researchers at the Otago University in New Zealand has helped reveal the face of an Egyptian aristocrat who lived about 2000 years ago.
The 35-year-old female aristocrat has been part of the Otago Museum's collection for more than a century.
AdvertisementThe facial reconstruction of the mummy is the result of over a year's work by a team from Otago University and they are confident that their modern day model is extremely accurate.
"I would say if somebody from that era comes and sees this reconstruction, I would say they would recognise her," said Dr George Dias from Otago University's Adanatomy Department.
The team developed an advanced method of facial reconstruction, which more accurately recreates the soft tissues like nose and skin surrounding the skull.
Previous methods have more guesswork and left the process open to artistic interpretation.
"We know there's no such thing called an average face," said Dr Dias. "You take two people from the same racial background, same age, same sex, the faces are different," he added.
Four years ago, scientists in Egypt put the mummy of Tutankhamen through a CAT scan. There, the fragile skeleton of the young Pharaoh was already unwrapped.
But this new process is non-invasive, preserving the ancient artefact by editing the original CAT scan.
The mummy was then electronically unwrapped, stripping away her wooden sarcophagus, bandages, and remaining soft tissue, thus revealing an accurate 3D image of the skull inside.
The process also has genuine real world applications, in the area of Police forensics and cold cases.
The next step is using silicone skin, to create a more human face.