Mummy’s got a new face, thanks to 3D printing

Live Science takes a long look at an Egyptian mummy whose face has been reconstructed using 3D printing to turn back time:

The mummified head was discovered by accident in the collections of the University of Melbourne in Australia. A museum curator happened upon the remains during an audit and, concerned about the state of the specimen, sent it for a computed tomography(CT) scan.

“Turns out, [the skull] is actually quite intact; it has got bandages and looks well on the inside,” said Varsha Pilbrow, a biological anthropologist in the University of Melbourne’s Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience. “Of course, that then allowed us to think what to do next.”

[T]he scientists studied the specimen’s facial-bone features, such as the size and angle of the jaw and characteristics of the eye sockets, to determine that the head belonged to a female. The researchers are calling the specimen Meritamun. They say she was probably not more than 25 years old at the time of her death and was important enough to be mummified.

…CT scans and 3D-printed replica of the skull are revealing other details about Meritamun, including her dental abnormalities and diseases she might have had.

“We noticed that the top of her skull is very thin. It is extremely porous,” Pilbrow told Live Science. “It suggests that she would have suffered from severe anemia.”

Video of the reconstruction atop the printed skull is at the link.