3D Imaging Takes You Inside The Sarcophagus Of An Ancient Egyptian Girl


Tom Hale


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

Scanning the Sherit mummy with Artec Eva, powered by Artec battery pack. Artec 3D

Using the latest imaging technology, researchers have “brought to life” a little girl who was mummified in Ancient Egypt over 2,000 years ago.

Sherit, which is ancient Egyptian for “little one”, is a mummified Egyptian child who died two millennia ago. She currently lives at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California.


Previous CT scans of the mummy in 2005, revealed that the body once belonged to a girl aged around 5 years old. She also had round earrings and a Roman-era necklace, indicating she was probably from a rich or powerful family. Medical experts on that project concluded that the girl most likely died from dysentery or meningitis.

However, this mysterious mummy had much more to reveal.

“For us, the value of this project is to bring this little girl’s story to life,” Julie Scott, Executive Director of the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, said in a statement. “She came to our museum in the 1930s, yet we knew very little about her. We wanted to find a way to learn more about who she was without damaging her mummy wrappings.”

The mummy Sherit as a combined representation of CT and optical scan: The light blue mesh is for illustrative purposes only. It symbolizes the now possible combination of colored 3D surface scans and the internal three-dimensional data obtained by a CT scan. Artec 3D

Sherit has now received a new higher-precision scan with the help of an Artec Eva handheld 3D scanner. This technique, combined with the original CT scans, captured the mummy in true-colored, highly textured, 3D images. High-end graphics software was then used to piece everything together.


“This mummy was pretty easy to scan since it featured complex geometry, varied, non-repetitive texture, and natural surface imperfections,” said Artec’s Anna Galdina, who scanned the mummy. “The only minor difficulty I faced was the museum’s request not to hold the scanner above the mummy. This limited the scope of angles I could capture, but thanks to the scanner’s versatility it was no big deal.”

As you can see, the results are pretty impressive.

For more of the same, check out this story of a Scottish woman accused of being a witch at the turn of the 18th century. She was jailed for witchcraft and for having had sex with the devil, but died in her cell before executioners had the chance to burn her at the stake. Just in time for Halloween this week, researchers digitally reconstructed her face. 

[H/T: Live Science]



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