Saturday June 15th, 2024
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Face of Warrior Pharaoh Virtually Reconstructed After 3,500 Years

The reconstruction relied on more than 130 years of data.

Cairo Scene

Face of Warrior Pharaoh Virtually Reconstructed After 3,500 Years

The face of ancient Egyptian ruler Seqenenre Tao II has been revealed for the first time in 3,500 years. The pharaoh’s appearance was reconstructed using his mummified remains, and even shows how he was killed by fatal axe blows to the face.

Seqenenre Tao ruled in the 16th century BC, when Egypt was partially occupied by the Hyksos. He is remembered as a freedom fighter who died trying to liberate Egypt from foreign rule.

Michael Habicht, an archaeologist at Flinders University in Australia, has said that Tao II’s mummy is visibly different from those of other pharaohs. While most royal mummies rest with their arms crossed over their chest, Tao II’s mummy has very asymmetrical and irregular arms, and his face is disfigured. Some researchers have suggested his mummification may have taken place during rigour mortis.

Brazilian graphics expert Cicero Moraes, who recreated the face digitally, said the effort relied on more than 130 years of data stretching all the way back to 1889. His team used a combination of measurements, CT images, and X-rays to virtually rebuild the pharaoh’s skull as it would have looked before his fatal injuries.

Dr. Habicht acknowledges that there remain some gaps in their knowledge even after the reconstruction, such as what his skin colour would have been. While it is widely accepted by researchers that he was killed by fatal blows to the head from axes, there is no certainty that he was killed in battle.

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