Saturday, April 19, 2008

Berkshire Museum puts a face on its mummy

Berkshire Eagle (Jenn Smith)

The mummy has returned. And he has new tales to tell.

One of the county's most beloved relics — the nearly 2,300-year-old corpse of the ancient priest Pahat — is back on view at the Berkshire Museum's recently reopened Ancient Civilizations gallery.

But now, thanks to modern forensic science and technology, specialists have been able to put flesh to his bones, creating a three-dimensional reconstruction of Pahat's head.

Further research has also revealed that Pahat had a son, who now rests less than two hours away.

"I can't even begin to tell you how many kids come up to me and ask if it's a real mummy. Adults too," said Leanne Hayden, collections manager for the museum. She said the new findings help add a living dimension to the exhibit.

"A lot of people have a hard time imagining being alive that long ago. So this is just great. I'm thrilled," she said.

The facial reconstruction of the mummy reveals an older, clean- shaven male who actually, according to Hayden, "looks very Caucasian."

See the above page for more.

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