Depicting Mummies: craniofacial analysis to visualise the faces of ancient peoples from preserved human remains

Prof. Dr. Caroline Wilkinson, Forensic Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University

Preserved human remains hold specific challenges for craniofacial analysis associated with degradation of skeletal material, access difficulties and post-mortem changes. However, accidental and/or deliberate preservation processes also offer unique visual information associated with soft tissue features, hair and accessories.
In addition, many museums around the world are critical of the exhibition of human remains, and the presentation of faces of the dead can be viewed as unnecessary and exploitative.
This paper will discuss the ethical, practical and academic challenges associated with craniofacial analysis and facial depiction of preserved human remains, and will be illustrated with examples, including Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, Northern European Bog Bodies, South American Tsantsa and natural mummies.

CWilkinson short bio 2024