Turning Back Time with Sculpture

An earlier reconstruction by Joe Mullins

Art League instructor and forensic artist Joe Mullins has new work on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, using high-tech tools to learn more about a very old — and very young — mummy.

Joe reconstructed the face of the 2,500-year-old, 3-year-old boy using CT scans and 3-D sculpting software. He added muscles, other tissue, and skin to the CT scan in order to recreate the child’s face from his mummified remains, based on what researchers knew of his ancestry from the skeleton. (Age, ancestry, gender, mental disorders, surgeries, and some infections can all be found by studying the skull.) A 3-D printer created the bust on display in the Smithsonian exhibit, “Eternal Life in Ancient Egypt.”

Joe Mullins working on a facial reconstruction.

Joe will be at ArtFest this Friday with skulls and samples of some of his amazing work. He is also teaching a course on facial reconstruction starting in January (and another in the spring), where students will reconstruct a head in seven weeks, starting from only a skull.

The finished bust. By Joe Mullins

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