It almost defies belief what modern science is capable of. Take this facial reconstruction of Meritamen, a mummified Egyptian woman who may have lived anywhere from 2000-3500 years ago. The reconstruction was conducted by scientists and researchers from Monash University, the University of Melbourne, the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and many others.
According to an article by Pursuit journalist Andrew Trounson, the talents of a number of professionals were required to get to the point where forensic sculptor Jennifer Mann could conduct the reconstruction.
Forensic Egyptologist Janet Davey had the task of identifying the gender and age of Meritamun, while Gavan Mitchell, an imaging technician at the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, spent a great deal of time “tweaking and design” the 3D-printed skull used as the base:
It took 140 hours of printing time on a simple consumer-level 3D printer to produce the skull that has been used to reconstruct Meritamun’s face … [and] because the 3D printer builds from the bottom up and the print is always more detailed at the top, Mitchell has to print out the skull out in two sections to better capture the detail of the jaws and the base of the skull.
Finally, Mann could get to work on putting the face together, of which part of the process can be seen in the timelapse above.
But the adventure doesn’t stop here. Carbon dating results are still on the way to determine Meritamun’s exact age and Stacey Gorski, a biomedical science student at Melbourne uni is working on the details of Meritamun’s health and diet (pre-mummification of course).