Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mummy's Face Reconstructed

Latest technology applied to a "virtual" facial reconstruction of a mummy. From Who's your mummy? High-tech wizardry reveals face of ancient aristocrat Wed, 28 Jan 2009 6:51p.m. The face of an Egyptian mummy at Otago Museum has been revealed for the first time in over 2,000 years. The 35-year-old female aristocrat has been part of the museum's collection for more than a century. The 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," says 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," says Dr Dias. "You take two people from the same racial background, same age, same sex, the faces are different." 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 - 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. 3 News

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