It took months to digitally reconstruct his face.
With the help of digital reconstruction, scientists have restored the face of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten, who most likely was the father of Tutankhamun, writes “Around the world. Ukraine”.
The remains of the pharaoh were found in 1907 in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings in Tomb KV 55, just a few meters from the tomb of Tutankhamun.
More than a century after the discovery of the tomb, genetic analysis showed that the skeleton found belonged to the biological father of Tutankhamun, and other finds in the tomb indicate that this person was Akhenaten, who ruled from 1353 to 1335 BC. e. and was the first king to introduce monotheism in Egypt.
The reconstruction, which took months to develop, was created by scientists at the Forensic Anthropology, Paleopathology and Bioarcheology Research Center (FAPAB) in Sicily. They worked closely with Cicero Morais, a Brazilian 3D forensic scientist known for his work on face reconstruction from the distant past. “During the reconstruction, the scientists used the so-called Manchester method, during which the facial muscles and ligaments are modeled on a skull model in accordance with the rules of anatomy. The skin is placed on top, and the thickness of the fabrics is averages that have been determined using scientific methods, ”said Francesco Galassi, director and co-founder of FAPAB. In creating the reconstruction, the researchers cited a wealth of data on KV 55, including records of previous physical examinations of the skull, detailed measurements, scaled photographs, and skeletal x-rays.
Akhenaten ascended the throne, adopting the new name Amenhotep IV, meaning “Servant of Aton” (Anton is the Egyptian sun god). Then, in order to establish monotheistic worship of Aton, he set about eliminating the clergy that served the Egyptian pantheon of gods.
Archaeologists have found the skeleton in an unadorned tomb, the bricks of which were engraved with magical spells bearing the name of Akhenaten. Another coffin and canopic vessels, vessels for storing mummified organs, contained the remains of a woman named Kiya, who was identified as Akhenaten’s concubine.
The body found by archaeologists was mummified, but the surviving flesh disintegrated when lifted by an excavator, leaving behind only a skeleton. Based on the items in the tomb and the floor of the skeleton, some archaeologists have concluded that it must belong to Akhenaten. However, the analysis of the teeth and bones showed that the man was younger than experts believed.
When he died, Galassi said he was about 26 years old, and perhaps only 19 to 22 years old, while records show that Akhenaten ruled for 17 years and had a daughter during his first year. “Some archaeologists believe that he began his reign not in childhood, but in his youth. Others suggest that the skeleton may not have belonged to him at all, but to his younger brother Smenkhkare. However, we have no evidence that this brother existed at all, ”Galassi notes.
Today, Smenkhkara is most often considered not a real person, but the fictional personality of Queen Nefertiti, who may have adopted this name when she ascended the throne after Akhenaten’s death.
According to a study published in the journal JAMA, genetic analysis showed that the skeleton belonged to the son of Amenhotep III, the father of Tutankhamun, giving more evidence that it belonged to Akhenaten. However, this conclusion is also not without controversy, as the genetic data for Egyptian mummies may be “complicated” by the fact that incest between siblings was a common practice in royal dynasties at the time.