Egyptian Mummy’s Faces Recreated With Genetic Data For the First Time

by Shelby Scott
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It may sound cliché, but technology has opened so many doors for individuals all over the world. In one of those ways, modern technology has contributed greatly to the realms of both science and history. One recent example came when one advanced study recreated the faces of three Egyptian mummies with genetic data for the first time.

The final images are absolutely mind-blowing. They reveal that ancient civilizations and their inhabitants, truthfully, resemble many humans as we appear today. Scientists glean much information about ancient beings and their civilizations based on their remains. However, nothing so far amounts to the advancements made surrounding these three particular mummies.

While the recreations themselves are definitely notable, the mummies’ ancient age, amounting to more than 2,000 years old, proves the true value of improved digital reconstruction.

According to the New York Post, scientists located the three mummies in the study south of Cairo. Their estimated date of burial lies somewhere between 1380 B.C. and A.D. 425. All three appear to be around age 25.

The outlet further reported the three mummies first saw their DNA sequenced in 2017 at a German institute. Since, researchers at Parabon Nano Labs in Reston, Virginia have advanced the study. Scientists more recently used forensic DNA phenotyping to create three separate 3-D models. Overall, the program predicts both facial features and other characteristics of each mummy.

Of the historic reconstruction, Parabon said, “This is the first time comprehensive DNA phenotyping has been performed on human DNA of this age.”

Study Reveals Egyptian Mummies Lack Modern Egyptian Traits

Overall, Parabon’s mummy revelation is dynamic, as it gives modern humans a look at our ancient predecessors as they truly would have appeared. However, upon the lastest findings, Parabon found the small group of Egyptian mummies doesn’t actually possess many Egyptian physical traits.

According to the news outlet, Parabon’s methods led to quite an interesting revelation. Possessing light brown skin and dark eyes and hair, the three young men in the study actually genetically resemble modern-day Mediterranean populations, rather than Egyptian ones.

In order to uncover the unique features, Parabon utilized a variety of methods and strategies. According to the New York Post, physical characteristics such as skin and eye color may emerge through genetic qualities in the individual’s makeup. Other genetic qualities come from their physical remains.

While we can definitely attribute technological advancement to these incredible discoveries, scientists nevertheless faced challenges of their own. In attempting to accurately recreate the genetic traits of the mummies’ features, scientists were forced to combat the progressive degradation of human DNA over time. To account for any missing information, researchers used genetic commonalities between human populations to fill gaps.

Further, the discovery isn’t only significant in piecing together our planet’s ancient history and ancient people’s. Researchers within the study believe this particular process could be used in modern forensic practices. More specifically, they hope it could help identify more recent remains of unknown persons.

Already, Parabon has stated the system has assisted in cracking 175 earlier cold cases.

Outsider.com