CT Scans Show What King Tut Looked Like

Maamoun Youssef, AP, May 11

CAIRO, Egypt—The models show a baby-faced young man with chubby cheeks and his family’s characteristic overbite, a weak chin and a pronounced, sloping nose beneath an elongated scalp.

Three teams of scientists have created the first facial reconstructions of King Tutankhamun based on CT scans of his mummy. The images are strikingly similar both to each other and to ancient portraits of the boy pharaoh, including his depiction on the famed golden mask he wore into the crypt.

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The Egyptian team’s

reconstruction.

The three teams created their reconstructions separately—the Americans and French working from a plastic skull, the Egyptians working directly from the CT scans, which could distinguish different densities of soft tissue and bone.

The French and Egyptians knew they were recreating King Tut, but the Americans were not even told where the skull was from, yet correctly identified it as a Caucasoid North African, the council said in a statement.

“The results of the three teams were identical or very similar in the basic shape of the face, the size, shape and setting of the eyes, and the proportion of the skull,” Hawass said.

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The American team’s reconstruction. The Americans refused to assign King Tut a skin color because it could not be known.

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