Skip to main content

Image Gallery: The Faces of Egyptian Mummies Revealed

Dying young

egyptian mummies, face reconstructions mummies, mummy, mummy images

(Image credit: Courtesy Victoria Lywood.)

Professional forensic artist Victoria Lywood worked with a team of researchers to create 3D models of three ancient Egyptian mummies. This model is of a woman who died around the age of 20 nearly 2000 years ago. CT scans reveal that when she was buried her hair was tied in an elaborate pattern popular in the 2nd century AD.

Beautiful in death

egyptian mummies, face reconstructions mummies, mummy, mummy images

(Image credit: Courtesy Victoria Lywood.)

A side view of the hairstyle, the wig, based on the information obtained from the CT scans, was designed by Victoria Lywood.

Putting the pieces together

egyptian mummies, face reconstructions mummies, mummy, mummy images

(Image credit: Courtesy Victoria Lywood.)

Lywood carefully constructed the models using forensic data obtained by researchers. This image shows a model of the young woman while still under development.

Closer to the image

egyptian mummies, face reconstructions mummies, mummy, mummy images

(Image credit: Courtesy Victoria Lywood.)

The young woman with more skin.

Fleshed out

egyptian mummies, face reconstructions mummies, mummy, mummy images

(Image credit: Courtesy Victoria Lywood.)

The reconstruction of the young woman fleshed out but without the wig put on.

Finely decorated

egyptian mummies, face reconstructions mummies, mummy, mummy images

(Image credit: Nicolas Morin, McGill University)

The mummy of the young woman is in its coffin at the Redpath Museum in Montreal. Its coffin is finely decorated with a gilded face however her name is unknown.

Details of honor

egyptian mummies, face reconstructions mummies, mummy, mummy images

(Image credit: Nicolas Morin, McGill University)

The body case of the well decorated mummy coffin.

Improved techniques

egyptian mummies, face reconstructions mummies, mummy, mummy images

(Image credit: Nicolas Morin, McGill University)

The mummy set to go into the CT scanner. Researcher Andrew Wade notes that the development of high resolution scanners over the past decade have greatly aided the field of mummy research.

A peek inside

egyptian mummies, face reconstructions mummies, mummy, mummy images

(Image credit: RSNA RadioGraphics)

CT scans of the woman revealed that her hair was still intact and dressed in an elaborate style (the arrow points to the hair). The information gained from the scans played an important role in reconstructing what this ancient Egyptian looked like when she was alive.

Mysterious marks

egyptian mummies, face reconstructions mummies, mummy, mummy images

(Image credit: RSNA RadioGraphics)

Another key find from the scans of the young woman was that she had three punctures, about 3-4 millimeters (1/8 of an inch) in size, on the right side of her abdominal wall. These punctures could be from an event that caused her death leaving Egyptologists with a mystery - how did she get them?

Evidence of age

egyptian mummies, face reconstructions mummies, mummy, mummy images

(Image credit: Courtesy Victoria Lywood.)

This reconstruction shows another female mummy from the Redpath Museum. Radiocarbon dating indicate that she lived late in the period of Roman rule, when Christianity was on the rise in Egypt and mummification was soon to go out of fashion. Studies of her mummy revealed her hair to be gray and it's estimated that she died between the ages of 30 and 50. She had severe dental problems including a cavity between two teeth and multiple abscesses.