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Just after the turn of the first millennium A.D., a young child living in Egypt contracted a deadly illness — most likely pneumonia — and died. His tiny body was prepared for mummification and burial; some of his organs were removed, his remains were wrapped in criss-crossed linen bindings and a portrait of his face was affixed to the front of his mummy.

This so-called “mummy portrait” was part of a popular tradition among some Egyptians in Greco-Roman times, from about the first through the third centuries A.D. But how accurate were these portraits? To find out, a team of scientists in Austria and Germany CT scanned this little boy’s body and created a 3D digital reconstruction of his face. 

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