UNI RE­VEALS EGYP­TIAN MUMMY’S FACE

Evening Express (City Final) - - Front Page - BY EMMA MORRICE

ACA­DEMICS have used X-rays to vi­su­alise an An­cient Egyp­tian mummy that has been part of a city univer­sity col­lec­tion for more than 200 years. Ta-kheru, who was born around 750 BC, is the fo­cus of an ex­hi­bi­tion at Aberdeen Univer­sity’s Sir Dun­can Rice gallery. Us­ing com­puted to­mog­ra­phy (CT) scans and the lat­est med­i­cal vi­su­al­i­sa­tion tech­niques, re­searchers have been able to re­cre­ate her body from mum­mi­fied re­mains – a first for the univer­sity. And a fa­cial re­con­struc­tion has also re­vealed what she would have looked like. The CT scans showed that her body was cov­ered in more than 50 lay­ers of li­nen wrap­pings treated with em­balm­ing resin. She also had a shroud over her face, in­di­cat­ing she was of a high sta­tus. As well as be­ing able to see her sar­coph­a­gus and cof­fin, which have been in the univer­sity’s col­lec­tions since the 18th Cen­tury, there is a holo­gram and X-ray of what her skele­ton looks like. The fa­cial re­con­struc­tion used the bones of her skele­ton, as well as dis­cus­sion and re­search into her eth­nic­ity, in­flu­enced by the be­lief that her grand­mother was a Syr­ian pris­oner of war. Other de­tails, such as the fact she was a mother, had teeth miss­ing and signs of bone at­ro­phy have helped to paint a fuller pic­ture of Ta-kheru’s life, and where she lived up un­til her late 60s or early 70s – al­most dou­ble the av­er­age life ex­pectancy for the time. Neil Cur­tis, head of mu­se­ums and spe­cial col­lec­tions at Aberdeen Univer­sity, said: “There are three bits to the ex­hi­bi­tion – the story, see­ing the real mummy and the fa­cial re­con­struc­tion, where you see her as a real per­son and the wow of tech­nol­ogy, which is quite emo­tive, as you’re see­ing her skele­ton. “She’s been in the univer­sity for more than 200 years and it’s only in the last year that we’ve now found out who she was – and that’s as­ton­ish­ing. We’ve found out her fam­ily, when she was born and when she died. “It’s a fo­cus on one woman’s life, and that’s some­thing that makes this ex­hi­bi­tion dif­fer­ent,

Pic­tures show Ta-kheru’s sar­coph­a­gus, how she may have looked, and a CT scan re­veal­ing her skele­ton

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