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2,500-year-old mummy's secret out

After working for nearly three months, forensic artists have revealed the physical characteristics of a 2,500-year-old Egyptian mummy.

india Updated: Sep 13, 2010 13:30 IST

Forensic artists have created an extraordinary image of the face of a 2,500-year-old Egyptian mummy, which was unveiled at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

In an unusual collaboration, artists from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), worked with a Kansas City cardiologist and a Nelson-Atkins curator to scientifically analyse the physical characteristics of the mummy, named Ka-i-nefer.

The mummy is part of the new Egyptian galleries that opened at the Nelson-Atkins in May.

For nearly three months, Sharon Whitaker and Robert "Randy" Strode of ATF worked on the project using a sophisticated computer program known as the Electronic Facial Identification Technique (EFIT) Program.

"ATF's mission involves investigating many unique and interesting criminal cases around the world," said Kenneth Melson of ATF.

"Our forensic investigators have put their training and specialized skills together to solve another unique - and unprecedented - mystery to unravel the anonymity of a 2,500-year-old mummy.

It's an honor for ATF to be a part of this event that benefits the community and the growth of our society in a way that will have a lasting impact on future generations."

Robert Cohon, curator of ancient art at the Nelson-Atkins, said he was delighted with the results of the ATF agents'work and the overall analysis of the team, which yielded general information about the mummy.

Through modern science, the group determined that Ka-i-nefer was a man who lived to be about 45 to 55 years old, who stood about 5 feet 5 inches and wore size 7 shoes.

"The image by ATF adds a powerful immediacy to this man who lived thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt," said Cohon.

First Published: Sep 13, 2010 13:01 IST