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Thread: Putting a Face on King Tut

  1. #1 Putting a Face on King Tut 
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    Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, displays an ancient statue of King Tut, whose facial reconstruction using CT scan technology is believed to be very accurate.

    Putting a Face on King Tut
    Associated Press

    08:09 AM May. 11, 2005 PT

    The models show a baby-faced young man with chubby cheeks and his family's characteristic overbite, a weak chin and a pronounced, sloping nose beneath an elongated scalp.

    Three teams of scientists have created the first facial reconstructions of King Tutankhamun based on CT scans of his mummy. The images are strikingly similar both to each other and to ancient portraits of the boy pharaoh, including his depiction on the famed golden mask he wore into the crypt.

    The teams from France, the United States and Egypt each built a model of the pharaoh's face based on some 1,700 high-resolution images from CT scans to reveal what he looked like the day he died nearly 3,300 years ago.

    That models, photos of which were released Tuesday, bear a strong resemblance to the gold mask of King Tut found in his tomb in 1922 by the British excavation led by Howard Carter.

    The beardless youth depicted in the model created by a French team has soft features, a sloping nose and a weak chin and the overbite, which archaeologists have long believed was a trait shared by other kings in Tut's 18th dynasty. His eyes are highlighted by thick eyeliner.

    "The shape of the face and skull are remarkably similar to a famous image of Tutankhamun as a child where he was shown as the sun god at dawn rising from a lotus blossom," said Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

    The CT scans the first done on an Egyptian mummy have suggested King Tut was a healthy, yet slightly built 19-year-old, standing 5-feet-6 at the time of his death.

    The three teams created their reconstructions separately the Americans and French working from a plastic skull, the Egyptians working directly from the CT scans, which could distinguish different densities of soft tissue and bone.

    The French and Egyptians knew they were recreating King Tut, but the Americans were not even told where the skull was from, yet correctly identified it as a Caucasoid North African, the council said in a statement.

    "The results of the three teams were identical or very similar in the basic shape of the face, the size, shape and setting of the eyes, and the proportion of the skull," Hawass said.

    The French and American models, seen in photos released by the council, are similar with the Americans' plaster model sharing the more realistic, French silicone version's receding chin and prominent upper lip. The Egyptian reconstruction has a more prominent nose and a stronger jaw and chin.

    The scans were carried out on Jan. 5 in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, where Tut's leathery mummy was briefly removed from its tomb and placed into a portable CT scanner.

    The tests provided an unprecedented look at Egypt's most famous mummy but they did not resolve the mystery of the death of King Tut, who came to power at age 9.

    Source and rest of article here
    Through the wonders of technology are we finally reaching the ablility to resurrect the facial features of long past dead individuals? Prehaps. One can but wonder if this is an accurate depiction of the long dead boy king what other wonders in tech advancement await us in the coming years.


    "Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo."
    - H. G. Wells (1866-1946)
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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    funny idea that behind the gold facade there's just a normal boy.



    Especially in archeology modern technology is very helpfull indeed, although I think there's a limit to it: some things are just gone, and even the strongest computer can't bring them back. but sometimes our mind can :wink:


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  4. #3  
    Blah-blah blink. Ripley's Avatar
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    If by some fluke this is a de facto portrait -- and being that Tutankhamun comes from a more concealed spiritual culture, a culture of being that practised cosmic affiliations -- I wonder then if perhaps there might be a spiritual residue emanating from the portrait itself. There seems to be quest for convergence in his regard, seeking a moment to connect with the viewer and establish a furtive appraisal of the future psyche.

    And who would experience culture shock more -- he, or us?
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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ad . hoc
    I wonder then if perhaps there might be a spiritual residue emanating from the portrait itself.
    Eh nah, it's just a good portret :wink:
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  6. #5  
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    Can I just step in to grouch about something that is really bugging me about this?

    The guy's name is TUTANKHAMUN. This experiment is the subject of a programme that's going to play (already has?) on National Geographic channel, and we're getting adverts in the British press for it, that say, "Is this the face of King Tut?"

    I'm sorry, I'm really really sorry, but "King Tut" is an abominable American contraction that in my view somewhat trivialises both the man and the contribution the discovery of his remains have made to our understanding of ancient history. As far as I'm concerned "King Tut" is the villain from the Batman TV series (played by Victor Buono). The real king was Tut-Ankh-Amun. (And Tut- is pronounced Toot.)

    As to the process itself - just look at the picture of the tomb. There can scarcely be a more accurate rendition of a human face dating back so far. So some guys have created a computer-generated image of a guy that looks like that? Big whoop.
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