Thursday, June 25, 2009

Reconstructing the face of Meresamun

Archaeology Magazine (Eti Bonn-Muller)

With photographs/illustrations

She was more than just a pretty face. The ancient Egyptian Meresamun, who lived around 800 B.C., was a working girl, a priestess-musician who served Amun, the preeminent deity of Thebes. Her mummified remains, sealed 2,800 years ago in a skintight coffin of cartonnage (layers of linen and plaster), were examined by researchers at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute in September 2008 using the latest in CT scanning technology, a "256-slice" machine that produced startlingly vivid images. For months, she has since been the immensely popular subject of the Oriental Institute Museum's exhibition, The Life of Meresamun: A Temple Singer in Ancient Egypt.

Now, the headline-making CT images have helped two individuals--each working separately with 3-D STL (stereolithography) images of Meresamun's skull produced from the scans, but using different techniques--reconstruct Meresamun's face.

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