Egyptian mummy face reconstructed with 3D printing

Iret- Neferet is first mummy in Brazil to have their age scientifically confirmed

23/08/2019 - 15h04

Iret-Neferet | Image: Cícero Moraes

The facial reconstruction of mummy Iret-Neferet was presented to the public on Aug 15. An investigation conducted at the University confirmed its age, sex and origin. The piece arrived in Brazil in the 1950s and was in a museum in Cerro Largo (RS).

The work was completed by 3D designer Cícero Moraes. By conducting a digital tomography of the skull and using specific information about gender, ancestry and age group, he was able to reconstruct the mummy using a 3D printer. After that, by relying on forensic records and references, he used markers that indicated the thickness of soft tissue, muscle reconstruction and nose projection as well as the position of eyes and ears: “As soon as the projections are made, we began the process of digital sculpture. To finish, the face receives pigmentation, the hair is added and the clothes are designed using the data provided by the archaeologist as a reference ”, Cicero says.

The event Achados sobre a múmia Ireti-Neferet (Findings about mummy Ireti-Neferet) showed the results of the survey conducted by the School of Humanities’ Afro-Egyptian Identity Group. The session addressed interdisciplinary research, the contributions of Dentistry to identify the dates, sex determination through craniometry and cranioscopy as well as aging in Ancient Egypt (700-300 BC). Late mummification techniques, the isolation of microorganisms, Iret-Neferet’s facial approximation, the history of medicine in Ancient Egypt and the mummification process were also in the agenda.


The mummy’s age, sex and origin has been confirmed after an investigation of its head that was conducted at PUCRS. Iret-Neferet (meaning “beautiful eye”) lived between 768-476 BC, as shown in the radiocarbon exam (C14) conducted in the USA. Research has shown that, after analysis of the head, it is a woman aged 42-43, who lived between the end of Egypt’s Intermediate Period III (1070-712) and the beginning of the Late Period (Saite-Persian: 712-332 BCE). Radiocarbon test results indicate that the mummy should be between 2,495 and 2787 years old. The records were available at a Museum of Cerro Largo, in Rio Grande do Sul. The study was conducted by the African-Egyptian Identity Study Group, of PUCRS’ School of Humanities, under the coordination of Professor Dr Édison HuttnerIret- Neferet is the first mummy in Brazil to have their age scientifically confirmed in radiocarbon exam.


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