Scientists reconstruct face of Ramses II
One of Ancient Egypt's greatest pharaohs was "digitally unwrapped" by researchers using CT software.
Egyptian and British scientists have unveiled a facial reconstruction of Ramses II after "digitally unwrapping" the mummy of the famous Ancient Egyptian pharaoh using computer tomography (CT) software.
For the first time, historians were able to see what the ruler looked like at various points in his life thanks to the collaborative scientific project.
According to the researchers, they used previous CT scans of the pharaoh's mummy and ran them through analysis software. They were then able to distinguish between the skull and other embalming materials and create a 3D rendering of the skull.
The average facial muscle layer measurements thought to be appropriate for ancient Egyptians were then used to reconstruct the pharaoh's face. "This is the only scientific facial reconstruction of Ramesses II based on the CT scan of his actual mummy,” explained professor Sahar Saleem of Cairo University, who led the project, adding that previous attempts were “mostly artistic, based on his mummy’s face.”
The first rendering showed researchers what Ramses II looked like when he died at the age of 90. Imaging experts then used that image to reverse the aging process and show what the pharaoh was like when he was 45 years old.
"I find the reconstructed face is a very handsome Egyptian person with facial features characteristic of Ramesses II – the pronounced nose, and strong jaw," said Saleem, in a statement cited by the Daily Mail.
“King Ramesses II was a great warrior who ruled Egypt for 66 years,” she noted, adding that “bringing Ramesses’ face to life in his old age and as a young man reminds the world of his legendary status.”
Ramses II, also known as Ramses the Great, was the third pharaoh of Egypt's Nineteenth Dynasty and is thought to have reigned from 1279 BC until his death in 1213 BC.
He is regarded as one of the most celebrated and powerful pharaohs of the New Kingdom, Egypt's most powerful period.
Some people associate Ramses II with the figure who ruled during the biblical Book of Exodus, which tells the story of the Israelites fleeing Egypt under Moses' leadership.