THE FORENSIC FACIAL RECONSTRUCTION
There's an important chronological sequence in knowing how this amazing project happened and so here are the team members who helped make this experience amazing and historically important.
Dr. Sahar Saleem - Professor of Radiology at Cairo University where she specializes in paleoradiology, the use of radiology to study mummies. She is world renowned for having discovered the knife wound in the throat of Ramesses III, which was most likely the cause of his death.
In 2022 Archeology Magazine declared Dr. Saleem's scanning of Egyptian King Amenhotep I mummy the #1 archeology project for the year.
Dr. Saleem initiated the concept of the forensic facial reconstruction of King Tut and suggested it to Emmy Award winning producer Hossam Aboul-Magd to be included in the PBS movie "Tutankhamun Allies and Enemies". Dr. Saleem's role was the actual scanning of King Tutankhamun's mummy which took place in Egypt. Sahar then provided the CT digital files of Tut's skull for the reconstruction to her former professor and colleague Dr. Andrew Nelson.
Dr. Andrew Nelson - Professor of Archeology and Bioarcheology, University of Western Ontario. Cross-appointed to Department of Chemistry.
Dr. Nelson's role was to digitally remove all materials that were used in the mummification process (resins and linens) that were left on the skull in the CT scans. The end result was a skull with only boney material that could be used and 3D printed.
Christian Corbet - Forensic Sculptor - University of Western Ontario, Sc - Royal Canadian Navy, Reg. Sc - The Royal Canadian Regiment.
Christian's role was to sculpt a forensic facial reconstruction and following a creative sculpture of King Tutankhamun. He also made the mold and cast for the final sculpture.
In January 2022 Emmy Award winning producer Hossam Aboul-Magd from Soura Films envisioned a 2 hour feature movie that would eventually be titled "Tutankhamun Allies and Enemies". The movie was bought by PBS and aired on 23rd November 2022 to international acclaim.
Soura Films secured use of copyright from Dr. Zahi Hawass to make a copy of the CT scanned images of the skull that Dr. Saleem scanned in Egypt. Dr. Saleem then contacted Dr. Nelson who in turn contacted Christian Corbet to ask if they were interested in a multidisciplinary collaborative effort. Within days the "Tut Team" was born!
Once the CT scan files were released in early spring 2022 from Dr. Saleem to Dr. Nelson there was a very short timeline for Dr. Nelson to remove the subcutaneous packings off the skull and have the files sent to Toronto, Canada for 3D printing.
By the time Christian Corbet received the copy of the skull he was given the exceptionally short period of time to sculpt the entire forensic and creative sculpture; there were 2 sculptures. Every step in the forensic part of the reconstruction was filmed for posterity and proof of the whole process.
What Makes This Forensic Work Unique?
The "Tut Team discussed the necessity of using Egyptian tissue markers where in the past Caucasian tissue markers were believed to have been used. This was respectful to the person and nationality of King Tut and for scientific reasons.
It was soon discovered that using the Gerasimov Method and Neave Method in forensic reconstructions was not going to work entirely on their own as the tissue markers charts for Egyptian subjects didn't name all the muscles in the chart. Dr. Nelson and Christian Corbet then discussed this new approach and translated it into a new chart whereas a new method was created. The method today is now coined the "Corbet Method".
With a skull having been printed where only the boney structure was in place, the use of Egyptian tissue markers and a new method in reconstruction the musculature of the face, the face of King Tutankhamun was reborn. With that for what is believed to be the first time an academic paper has been written on this special and most historical project.