Ramses II, “a very handsome king” whose true face we finally discover

AMIR MAKAR / AFP The “Young Memnon” is a statue from ancient Egypt, which represents the pharaoh Ramses II.


The “Young Memnon” is a statue from ancient Egypt, which represents the pharaoh Ramses II

DISCOVERY – If you could time travel, what era would you go to? Many enthusiasts would dream of discovering ancient Egypt, its wonders and its pharaohs with their own eyes. Their wish will be granted, thanks to the recent work of a scientific team led by two women: Caroline Wilkinson, anthropologist from John Moores University in Liverpool, and Sahar Saleem, paleoradiologist at Cairo University.

Together, the scientists succeeded in reconstructing the face of one of the greatest pharaohs: Ramses II. His reign had lasted 66 years, from -1,279 to -1,213, and is today considered the apogee of Egypt’s power and glory. Of course, Ramses II left behind him statues and works of art in his likeness, but the 3D modeling provided by scientists goes even further.

We discover a striking image of realism of the face of the king of Egypt, at 45 years old first, and then at the end of his life, when he was 91 years old. These images are a world first: the face of Ramses II had never been recreated so precisely. This exceptional document will be unveiled in the program Roots and wingsbroadcast on September 28 on France 3.

A reconstruction made from the king’s mummy

To arrive at such a result, the scientists started from the scanner of the skull of Ramses II, which had been mummified when he died, nearly 3,300 years ago. “Sur Ramses II, there is a very wide nasal bone, observe Caroline Wilkinson, forensic anthropologist, It is, between the eyes, very high and very pronounced”. She closely studied every little detail of the royal skull, and thus was able to know the position of the pharaoh’s facial muscles. “ The stronger a muscle is where it is anchored, the more its attachments will leave visible marks on the surface of the skull. explains the anthropologist.

After this first step, it’s up to the 3D simulation to play, and bring the king’s face to life by giving it texture, wrinkles, pores and some skin imperfections. ” This is not information that we get from the skullsays Caroline Wilkinson. So we are in the interpretation. But it’s based on the patterns of representation at that age. »

Final touch: the choice of the skin color of the pharaoh. They were made from indications provided by radiologist Sahar Saleem, and modeled using software used in criminal investigations. After three months of hard work, the scientific team succeeded in making the face of Ramses II real: “He really is a very handsome king, rejoices Sahar Saleem. He is so Egyptian. He looks like those faces I meet every day in the streets of Cairo and Egypt. » Ramses II can thank the scientists for their work: he is much more handsome in 3D than mummified.

See also on The HuffPost :

Leave a Comment