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Facial Reconstruction of Mummy's Head

 
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:21 pm    Post subject: Facial Reconstruction of Mummy's Head Reply with quote

There's an interesting article about scientists who have used computers to reconstruct the face of a 2700-2900 year old mummy without unwrapping it!
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5880009/



The team started with the wrapped mummy of Harwa, an artisan who is thought to have lived sometime between 945 and 715 B.C. The mummy was found in the early 1900s in Egypt's Valley of the Queens by Italian Egyptologist Ernesto Schiaparelli, and brought to the Egyptian Museum in Turin.

The researchers couldn't determine how fatty Harwa's face was — they just had to go with their best guess on that part of the reconstruction. But they could figure out how muscular it was, based on the muscle insertions visible on the virtual skull bones. The mummy's soft-tissue profile also helped with the reconstruction, particularly around the nose, mouth and ears.

Details of the soft tissues were reproduced on the modeled head, right down to a small lesion visible on the left temple. The researchers said they decided not to add facial hair or makeup to their model, "to limit artistic interpretation and give precedence instead to the scientific data."

Based on the virtual reconstruction, the researchers said Harwa was about 45 years old when he died. "The teeth are in poor condition, and no other evidence of disease can be seen," they said.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that facial reconstructions were done a long time ago on the face of King Tut, but this is one where people have not much of a vested interest in what the guy looked like. This technique also seems somewhat more sophisticated than what I've seen before.
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw a movie at the british museum where they CT scanned a mummy and did a facial reconstruction, and I also saw the King Tut one on TV, they are full colour scans as well. So this technique has been done before.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isis wrote:
I saw a movie at the british museum where they CT scanned a mummy and did a facial reconstruction, and I also saw the King Tut one on TV, they are full colour scans as well. So this technique has been done before.


They have not been able to do it in this fashion actually.
If I understand it correctly, they do not need to have a model of the skull. They use the CT scan to create a computer generated model.
The point seems to be that this is an advance in the techniques they used.


I saw some other websites where they were looking at something that would allow the computer to create a more life-like texture for the reconstruction.


It's true that reconstructions have been around. I saw Tut reconstructed almost 20 years ago. But the old faces looked rather "plastic".
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There seems to be quite a bit of research done to perfect the known techniques. It's really Computer Science that seems to be the greatest component in the innovations.
There's a (very technical Very Happy ) website here
http://medialab.di.unipi.it/Project/Mummia/SIGGRAPH99/

They go past the inital facial reconstruction to trying to give the face a truly life-like appearance.
This is the mummy used:


A first (inferior) method leads to this reconstruction:


There are more advanced methods. Somehow this ends up being their "texturized" (=best???) reconstruction:

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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL Very Happy Sorry if other people are not into this, but it has always been really fascinating to me.

It gives me the feeling that I'm looking back in time.

These are some of the first reconstructions that really looked like people. This has an almost photographic quality to it that up to now always had been missing.
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Raia
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw a documentary on Nefertiti, and they reconstructed her face and the team of workers didn't know it was her, they just thought it was an egyptian mummy. When it was done, the facial reconstruction was shown beside the famous bust of Nefertiti, and there was a resemblance--although I couldn't see it, but the narrator said the resemblance was remarkable.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raia wrote:
.... When it was done, the facial reconstruction was shown beside the famous bust of Nefertiti, and there was a resemblance--although I couldn't see it, but the narrator said the resemblance was remarkable.


I don't think the reconstruction resembled Nefertiti either.
Then again I don't believe it's her.....

I have a book about facial reconstruction, and as a test someone gave a copy of a skull of a researcher to the forensic anthropologist.
That one is amazing. It looks just like the real life guy. So I think it is possible to get a very good likeness of the person of it is done correctly.
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