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Facial reconstructions of ancient Egyptian mummies provide glimpse of our past

Posted on January 24, 2013

One lies hidden inside a coffin. Another has his face exposed with hands extended at his sides. A third wears a mask over her face. They are three human Egyptian mummies that have been trapped in the manner they held when laid to rest nearly 2,000 years ago. And now we can reveal what they might have looked like.

Thanks to skeletal data from recent CT scans and radiocarbon analyses, a forensic artist from John Abbott College and physical anthropologists from Western University were able to reconstruct the faces of the mummies. The results of this facial reconstruction project show a young man and a young woman, as well as a white-haired matron, as they all might have appeared before their deaths.

These facial reconstructions will be unveiled on Friday, January 25, 2013 at the Redpath Museum at McGill University and will be featured as a new display in the World Cultures gallery starting in February.

In 2011, all three mummies were CT scanned at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -The Neuro, to produce high-resolution 3D radiological images as part of Western University’s IMPACT Radiological Mummy Database Project. Anthropological analyses of the scans produced information about the demographics, social statuses, and medical ailments of these three ancients, providing insight to help understand how these people lived and how they died. Two thousand years later, we are able to look at the faces of three Egyptians who believed they would live on forever after death.

Source: McGill University

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