Pharaonic mummy receives facial reconstruction surgery

28 Aug 2015645 Views

An Egyptian mummy that lay featureless in the Museum of Florence for years now has reason to smile, after forensic specialists used a whole host of techniques to reconstruct his face.

The mummy, dating from Tutankhamun’s XVIII dynasty (between 1543-1294BC), was a high-ranking dignitary or priest but, with just a name to go by – Kent, surprisingly – little was known about him.

Now, though, thanks to work led by Dr Matteo Borrini, Kent has a face to be proud of.

A CT scan of the mummy revealed that Kent was 50 years old when he died, and allowed for an exact copy of his skull to be modelled so that the individual muscles of the face could be produced.

Pharaoh reconstruction stages

The mummy wasn’t damaged during the process, though, with the bandages remaining as they were throughout the project.

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The procedure adopted is the “protocol of Manchester”, a standardised investigative method that Borrini has already used for other reconstructions both archaeological and during his work as a criminal expert.

“The research allows us to use the forensic investigation techniques for archaeological purposes to sketch the portrait of men who died millennia ago,” said Borrini.

“The bust I made presents the scientific methodology in a language compatible with the needs of the museum and in harmony with the other artefacts on display,” said the forensic anthropologist and principal lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University.

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Main image via Shutterstock, body images via Dr Matteo Borrini – the radiological and forensic team, and the stages of reconstruction

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic