Otago Museum reveals face of 2400yo mummy

A scientific model of the face of a 2400-year-old female mummy has been revealed by Otago Museum.

The final model of the face is the result of scientific, artistic and historical research carried out by the Department of Anatomy and the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Otago.

Researcher Dr Louisa Baillie used the information to rebuild the mummy's face with more accuracy than the previous reconstruction in 2008.

Dr Baillie used CT scans and X-rays to provide better detailed views of the surface of the mummy's skull and facial bones. 

She says it gave her the ability to accurately measure facial muscle and fat appropriate for her height, age, and state of health as well as the size and shape of her nose, lips, eyes and ears to develop a clay reconstruction.

"I took a deep breath when I began constructing the clay representing her soft tissue. I knew that by the end a face would be looking back at me that, although approximate, would show features that were hers when alive," Dr Baillie said.

The mummy has lived at Otago Museum for over 100 years after being donated by Bendix Hallenstein who brought it to Dunedin from the German Consul in Egypt in 1894.

The museum isn't able to identify exactly who she was but radiology images taken in 2000 show that she was about 50-years-old and in poor health when she died. 


Contact Newshub with your story tips: