Article

UK Museum uses 3D printing to reconstruct ancient mummy

  • Nimish Sany
  • 22 August , 2016

When no lives are left, it is upto art, culture and history to tell the tale of lives past. The information for our basic understanding of humanity and civilizations that couldn’t survive through time is supplied to us by ancient artifacts and remains. Be it Pantheon, Jerusalem or the mummies, material remains speak volumes about the history of humanity and its evolution into what it is now. It is impossible to learn about a civilization without understanding its past and its evolutions into the present. It hence, remains principal to uncover and preserve the remains from the past. Causes, both natural and man-made, had been detrimental to many such ancient ruins, structures and artifacts with the latest being the destruction of cultural heritage by ISIS at Palmyra, Syria. In an age where preserving one’s culture seems more important than ever, 3D printing is an effective way to restore or replicate structures and artifacts. 3D printing has been previously used to replicate fossils for a better understanding of the sciences.

mummy of Ta kush

Image: Maidstone Museum

Teaming up with Kent Institute of Medicine and Science and Liverpool John Moores University, Maidstone Museum in UK is in efforts to restore the face of Ta Kush, a mummy believed to be more than 2,500 years old. The researchers from the academic organizations will help the museum with the 3D scanning prior to printing. The scan will give information about the facial structure and features of the mummy which will reveal the face before its mummification. The museum is also planning to print a replica of the mummy for display and handling by the visitors.The mummy, brought over to England in 1920 hasn’t undergone an autopsy since 1942.

Samantha Harris, the collections manager at Maidstone Museum explains the revived interest in the mummy, “We now know that she is Ta Kush and not Ta Kesh. For the last 150 odd years we have been calling her Ta Kesh. Ta Kush means the ‘Kushite woman’. This means that she was probably from the Sudan rather than Egypt itself. So we are already starting to look at her in a very different way even before we have undertaken the scan.”

The 3D scanning of the image is expected to shed light on the cause of her death, the type of mummification she received as well as whether she had ever given birth to a child. 

Author

Nimish Sany: I bleed my thoughts on paper. And if I cant find a paper, blogs serve the purpose just fine.

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