We recently heard about the Maidstone Museum project that used3D printing to design the face of a 2,500-year-old mummy named Ta Kush. In Australia too, a similar project was launched whereby The Researchers at the University of Melbourne have given a face to an Egyptian mummy, a woman named Meritamun who lived about 2000 years ago.
The mummy seems to be a part of the collection of Professor Fredrick Wood Jones, who had worked on the archeological project in Egypt. This mummy head was found in the basement of the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology, School of Biomedical Sciences, where it was properly preserved in a container.
CTscans were performed to determine the condition of the head. Dr. Janet Davey of the Monash University is an Egyptologist who closely studied the CT scan. She deduced that the jaw line of the lady was sharp and the eye sockets were round. This was confirmed by the facial reconstruction expert Professor Caroline Wilkinson of Liverpool John Moores University.
Imaging technician Gaven Mitchell prepared a 3D model which took 140 hours and was printed in two parts. Sculptor Jennifer Mann will now use this 3D model for reconstruction purposes. Mann determined Meritamun looks using the similar techniques which were used to recreate the face of Jesus of Nazareth last year. Mann studied the faces of modern Egyptians to estimate the tissue depth on major points of the face. The size and shape of Meritamun’s nose and jaw were also estimated.
Meritamun’s age was estimated between 18 and 25, and with the help of the CT scans, Stacey Gorski, a biomedical master’s student at Melbourne, ascertained how Meritamun died. The scans revealed two tooth abscesses as well as symptoms of anemia caused by malaria or schistosomiasis, common diseases in ancient Egypt. The lovely lady is now displayed at the Harry Brooks museum.