Mummy 1770 from the Manchester Museum

In June 1975, the Manchester Mummy team began the unwrapping of a mummy of unknown provenance (possibly from Hawara) for a post-mortem examination. The body was known to be that of a girl of about 13 and she was known only by her museum acquisition number of 1770. Radiocarbon dating has shown that she probably lived around 200 BC, during the period when the Greek Ptolemies ruled Egypt. In addition to the post-mortem, it was decided that a reconstruction of the face should be attempted.

The skull was incomplete, and the missing areas were modelled in wax to produce a skull capable of being reconstructed. A pair of previous reconstructions (the "Two Brothers") had already been carried out, but 1770 saw a number of refinements of the technique used for these original reconstructions - including the use of small wooden pegs cut to precise lengths to indicate tissue thickness, and inserted into the cast of the skull at the appropriate anatomical positions.

The finished reconstruction was given features appropriate to the age of the deceased child and to the racial type, and was (for the first time) cast in wax, complete with hair, eyes and colour. Some years later another version was made for a display at the Manchester Museum, with added neck and shoulders, and more elaborate make-up and hair.

The Death Mask of Mummy 1770
Original Reconstruction of Mummy 1770
New Reconstruction of Mummy 1770