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Scientists Recreate 2000-Year-Old Egyptian Mummy’ Face

An interdisciplinary team led by the University of Melbourne in Australia has reconstructed the face of an ancient Egyptian woman’s mummified head which had been stored in the school’s basement for decades. A team of researchers from the University of Melbourne in Australia has reconstructed the female face of an Egyptian mummified head believed to be more than 2,000 years old.  According to a news release, the project began when a staff member became concerned that her tightly wrapped head, which was stored at the university’s Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology for nearly a century, “could be decaying from the inside without anyone noticing.”  In an effort to examine her with the least amount of disruption, researchers scanned the skull and, based on its well-preserved condition, decided to conduct additional work.  For the reconstruction, data from CT scans was fed into a 3D printing system to create a detailed model of her skull.  The replica was then handed to Jennifer Mann, a sculptor with forensic expertise, who approximated the woman’s facial tissue based on population data and anatomical ratios and built her musculature and features with clay.  The reconstruction was then preserved with resin, painted a dark olive color to reflect the predominant skin tone of the time, and given dark hair with thin braids.  Though the appearance of the woman, since named Meritamun, has largely been completed, researchers are still working to learn more about her health and cause of death.

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