Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Mummy Faces Volume 56 Number 4, July/August 2003
by Jason Urbanus

Using 3-D technology, researchers at Jilin University in China have successfully re-created the original appearance of two people mummified 1,700 years ago. The mummies, of a male and a female, were found in tombs near Gaochang City, near the Flaming Mountains of northwestern Xinjiang Province. Although 3-D technology has been used in China to reproduce particular facial features, this is the first time the technique has been used there to re-create the original appearances of mummified individuals. The male was estimated to be about 45 years of age and was characterized by the preservation and tidiness of his beard, hair, and eyebrows. The female adult's age was undetermined, but her relative plumpness and small nose and mouth give her a distinctive look.

© 2003 by the Archaeological Institute of America