Groundbreaking 3D tech brings faces of 200-year-old Egyptian mummies back to life


ByKirsty Card

New technology has allowed scientists to digitally visualise the faces of Egyptian mummies using extractions of their DNA – showing the 2,000-year-old bodies as 25-year-olds  

Technology brings faces of 2,000-year-old Egyptian mummies back to life (Image: Parabon NanoLabs)

Genetic researchers have revealed highly detailed 3D reconstructions of the faces of the three Egyptian mummies – using DNA extracted from their bodies in a groundbreaking use of new technologies.

The digital reconstructions depict the men at 25 years old despite the preserved corpses being between 2,023 and 2,797 years old.

The pioneering tech used by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the University of Tubingen in Germany performed enzymatic damage repair on each mummy before creating the images, according to Science Times.

In the news release from Parabon Nanolabs, they selected three samples with the highest quality to analyze in it’s first comprehensive DNA phenotyping the company has performed on human DNA of this age.

They used a phenotyping method called Snapshot to predict the ancestry, pigmentation, and face morphology of the three mummies.

The Virginia-based company noted that the overall genetic makeup of the mummies is closer to the modern Mediterranean or the Middle East people than modern-day Egyptians.

3D meshes were then created for the outline of the faces and calculated heat maps to highlight differences between the three faces.


However, all the mummies were revealed to once have light brown skin with dark eyes and hair.