I’m in an Egyptian mood this week.
There have been a few reconstructions of Egyptian mummies, and I’ve done my best to track them all down.
Lets start with the really big names first.
This is a slightly incorrect reconstruction, as the very elderly king (in his nineties) had his hair hennaed to a light auburn colour to make him look younger. It’s also likely, since he was a natural red head (and of Libyan descent) that his skin tone was a few shades lighter, as nobles wouldn’t have gone out in the sun much.
The Mummy of King Tutanhkamun was carefully placed in a cat scanner, and an image made of his skull, created without damaging him.They gave a model of the skull to three teams, one American, one Egyptian and one French. They then let them all use their varying techniques. This very lifelike one is the French reconstruction with a silicon skin.
These computer rendered images also support the French reconstruction. The grey one is the American one, and they were working blind on it. They identified it as a Caucasian North African, and after taking a little time to decide the sex (as he had a very feminine skull) they come up with the very weak chinned young man you see here. The jawline on the Egyptian one is somewhat stronger (suspiciously so). I think they may have ‘butched him up’ a touch.
First of all I’d like to say that this looks absolutely nothing like the bust of her. The busts of Nefertiti all have much thinner lips and the face is less angular with rounder cheekbones, and the shape of the eyebrows is totally wrong. The skin tone is also well off the skin colour of the bust, she’s a should be a much pinker tone. But, it may well be an accurate representation of the mummy it’s of, as the identity of Nefertiti is up for debate. I think the fact that this recon doesn’t look anything like the bust suggests it’s not Nefertiti they’ve got their hands on here.
Asru was a chantress (temple singer) of fifty or sixty years old. When she died she appeared to have been in poor health for quite some time, suffering a slipped disc, ear infection and a cyst due to a parasitic infection that would have caused shortness of breath and chest pain. She also suffered from schistosomiasis.
This man dates from the twenty second or twenty third dynasty, about 945–715 BC. There’s a link to the reconstruction process here.
Pesed and ‘Bess’
Pesed was a fifty five to seventy year old woman from 300 BC, who lived in Akhmim.
‘Bess’ was five feet tall and died between 25 and 35. She was likely from a wealthy family and died died 3,000 to 3,500 years ago. She was modeled by high-resolution CT scans, which captured detailed visual slices every millimeter.
Nefer-ii-ne and Natsef Amun
Nefer-ii-ne dates to around 250 BC. She looks a lot like like a Nigerian comedienne you see on British TV, and appears to be fairly prognathic, so I’m guessing she had pretty dark skin, as does the man next to her…
Natsef Amun was a priest at the temple of Karnak from 1,100 BC. He died in middle age. He appears to be strongly Nubian in appearance, which isn’t uncommon in Upper (Southern) Egyptians
Recently reconstructed by the British museum. He died about 800 BC. There’s a link to the Museum article on the reconstruction here. If you think the cat scan image is a bit odd, it’s because he’s wearing a bowl on his head. Apparently as part of the mummification process.
Reconstructed from a CT scan by the Akhmim Mummy Studies Consortium. She dates to the 3rd century BC. She was aged 35 to 40 when she died, about the average for ancient Egypt.
‘Annie’ and Peten-Amun
This is the body of an unnamed teenage girl from Akhmim circa 250 BC.
Peten-Amun was a minor priest from the early Ptolemaic era (300 BC) who died aged about sixty, a long life by Egyptian standards.
Bodiless mummy head