Friday, 25 January 2019 16:58

New facial reconstruction of 25th dynasty Egyptian mummy now on display

New facial reconstruction of 25th dynasty Egyptian mummy now on display © Bryan Popple, BNSS president

A new facial reconstruction of Tahemaa, the BNSS’s 25th dynasty Egyptian mummy, is now on display, along with a three-dimensional model of the skull. This reconstruction, based on the scans done in 2009 at City University in London, has been created by Vanessa Pearson, a third year Model Making student at the Arts University Bournemouth.

Using the 2009 scan data, Vanessa first created a 3-dimensional model of Tahemaa’s skull using a 3D printer. She then built up the head and facial features using plastiline clay before molding it in fibreglass and making a final cast in platinum silicon. The next stage involved painting the cast with silicon, using make-up to refine the facial features, and choosing a suitable wig.  

Tahemaa’s racial origins are unclear; it is thought she is Egyptian but she may have some Nubian heritage as well. ‘I was primarily guided by the 3D print of the skull, but to build up the muscles and tissues involved a good deal of historical research, as most of the available data is based on white European racial types,’ comments Vanessa.

Known by her title of ‘Lady of the House’, Tahemaa was donated to the BNSS in 1922 by the Salisbury Museum. The first opportunity to see deep inside the mummy, without invasive procedures, came in 1993, when Tahemaa travelled to The Royal Bournemouth Hospital for a CT scan. From this came the existing facial reconstruction currently on exhibit, undertaken by Richard Neave of Manchester University, which imagined Tahemaa as a young Nubian woman in her early 20s. The second scan done in 2009 allowed a more detailed 3D colour image to be built up and led to a reassessment that Tahemaa was likely in her mid-50s at the time of her death.  

This new facial reconstruction – now on display side by side with the first reconstruction - will be on permanent display at the BNSS, with the exception of 10-21 June 2019, when it will be exhibited as part of Vanessa’s final degree show.

The BNSS will be hosting a formal launch of the new facial construction later this spring, details will be forthcoming.

LOCATION: The Bournemouth Natural Science Society is located on the outskirts of Bournemouth Town Centre at 38 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth.

Directions can be found here:

ADMISSION: Admission is free but donations are appreciated

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