Saturday, September 11, 2010

Modern Science Reveals Secrets of 2,500-year-old Mummy

Digital Journal

A powerful image of the face of a 2,500-year-old Egyptian mummy at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has been created by special agents/forensic artists from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), as unveiled today at the Museum.

In an unusual collaboration, ATF agents worked with a Kansas City cardiologist and a Nelson-Atkins curator to scientifically analyze the physical characteristics of the mummy, named Ka-i-nefer. The mummy is part of the new Egyptian galleries that opened at the Nelson-Atkins in May.

ATF Special Agents Sharon Whitaker and Robert "Randy" Strode worked more than three months on the project, using a sophisticated computer program known as the Electronic Facial Identification Technique (EFIT) Program. The program is the most realistic and successful composite system available and specializes in facial recognition, identification and training.

"ATF's mission involves investigating many unique and interesting criminal cases around the world," said Kenneth Melson, deputy director of ATF. "Our forensic investigators have put their training and specialized skills together to solve another unique – and unprecedented – mystery to unravel the anonymity of a 2,500-year-old mummy. It's an honor for ATF to be a part of this event that benefits the community and the growth of our society in a way that will have a lasting impact on future generations."

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