3-D Reconstruction of Face of Ancient Egyptian Toddler

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A "mummy portrait" affixed to a 3- to 4-year-old Egyptian boy's mummy (left) and a 3-D facial reconstruction based on the child's bone structure (right) (Nerlich AG, et al. PLOS One 2020)

Artist’s Reconstruction Used Egyptian Boy’s Bone Structure Plus Average Development of Soft Tissue

Health Editor’s Note: And a fact check is the digital picture looks very much like the portrait on the front of the boy’s mummy. Awesome!…Carol

Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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6 COMMENTS

  1. The 3d reconstruction is not even close to the picture. The nose in the picture is long and slender, the 3d image isnt. The 3d image chin looks like two chins the picture has a circular arc chin. The 3d picture face looks puffier the picture face looks slender. Picture mouth is small. The 3d mouth is slightly wider.

  2. That just proves what I’ve always thought; facial reconstruction based on bone structure is a load of refuse.
    To “imagine” the soft-tissue form based on bone appearance is a brazen farce. If you’ve seen one normal human skull, you’ve seen them all; not so with facial features.

    • Elvin, How do you account for the clear fact that the 3-D interpretation was so similar to the actual painting on the mummy? the painting would have been done shortly before or shortly after death.

    • Carol, I account for by it looking at the dis-similarity between the painting, which is obviously of a living person, and the reconstruction, which doesn’t look anything like the painting.
      Which artist do you think had a better understanding of the subject’s natural appearance?
      If nothing else, the reconstructionist could have at least keyed off the painter’s depiction of the nose, and got that part right!
      Surely, with you’re background you can perceive the impossibility of a blind “imagining” of the muscle/connective-tissue/fat/dermal layer matrix “appearance” based solely on the skeletal framework.
      I always wondered why the reconstructionists never demonstrated their talent by standing it up against an actual known depiction.
      Facial reconstruction is malarkey.

    • After a closer look, I see the reconstructionist got the ears and chin wrong too.
      It’s not even close, from my perspective.

    • Agreed. There are so many variables. It is impossible to recreate a 3d facial or even body image just from bones. I think someone is trying to justify their science grants.