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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2004 Sep;183(3):755-8.

Facial reconstruction of a wrapped Egyptian mummy using MDCT.

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Struttura Operativa Complessa di Radiodiagnostica, Presidi Ospedalieri Riuniiti, Azienda Sanitaria Locale 19, Asti, Regione Piemonte, Italy.



Facial reconstruction of mummies and corpses in general is important in anthropological, medical, and forensic studies. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the role of MDCT examination for 3D facial reconstruction and report the results of multidisciplinary work performed by radiologists, anthropologists, and forensic police in reconstructing the possible physiognomy of an ancient Egyptian mummy.


Three-dimensional MDCT data were obtained from a well-preserved, completely wrapped Egyptian mummy from the collection of the Egyptian Museum in Torino, Italy, which dated from the XXII or XXIII dynasty (945-715 BC). Data were used as a model for the rapid prototyping stereolithographic technique, a method that allows the creation of a 3D model with digital data using synthetic materials such as a resin or nylon.


The physical creation of the face was accomplished with boosting techniques performed by the progressive layering of plasticine on the nylon model according to the anthropometric data, the conditions of the soft residual dehydrated tissues, and the most accepted scientific and anthropological criteria. CT is the only noninvasive method for obtaining fundamental data for 3D reconstructions of the skull and the body, especially with wrapped mummies.


Our multidisciplinary cooperative study produced a model of the face of an individual who lived nearly 3,000 years ago, which would not previously have been possible unless we unwrapped, destroyed, and altered the conservation of the bandages and the mummy.

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