By Mindy Weisberger / livescience.com
An ancient Egyptian pharaoh that may be King Tut’s father has a new face, with regal features and a serene expression shaped by digital reconstruction. Though this is the most accurate reconstruction of the man to date, long-standing questions about his identity remain unanswered.
His remains were found in 1907 in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings in tomb KV 55, just a few feet from the tomb of Tutankhamen. More than a century after the tomb’s discovery, genetic analysis suggested that the skeleton inside belonged to King Tut’s biological father, and other clues in the tomb told archeologists that the man was Akhenaten, who reigned from 1353 B.C. to 1335 B.C. and was the first king to introduce monotheism in Egypt. However, some experts have challenged these conclusions, claiming that the true identity of the individual is still uncertain.
The reconstruction, which took months to design, was created by scientists at the Forensic Anthropology, Paleopathology, Bioarchaeology Research Center (FAPAB) in Sicily. They worked closely with Cicero Moraes, a 3D forensic artist from Brazil who is known for his work reconstructing faces from the distant past, FAPAB representatives wrote on Facebook. Unlike previous facial reconstructions of KV 55, the new model omits hair, jewelry and other adornments, in order “to focus on the facial traits of this individual,” according to the post.