The Mummies

Breaking News from the Royal Ontario Museum!

Introducing Nefer-Mut
Dr. Andrew Nelson from the University of Western Ontario, who lead the team that examined “Justine”, announced that in collaboration with Gayle Gibson, Royal Ontario Museum Egyptologist, they had discovered “Justine’s” real name and occupation when she was alive more than 3,000 years ago. 

Scroll down to see the facial reconstruction of Nefer-Mut.

Redpath Museum

redpath 3

Three human mummies (RM2717, RM2718, & RM2720) from the Redpath Museum at McGill University were CT (computed tomography) scanned at the end of April 2011. The scans were conducted at the Montreal Neurological Institute as part of a collaborative project organized by Dr. Andrew Wade and Dr. Andrew Nelson (Project IMPACT Radiological Mummy Database) of the University of Western Ontario. The scans (converted from DICOM medical files to stereolithography files by Dr. Wade) were printed by Mark Ewanchyna, Engineering Technologies Department at John Abbott College to produce 3 rapid prototype models of the skulls found deep within the wrappings of the mummies for the purpose of facial reconstruction.  Since their presentation in January 2013 at the Redpath Museum, media reports in newspapers, magazines, radio and television have travelled around the globe.  (Scan photos are courtesy of © Dr. Andrew Wade - University of Western Ontario.)


RM2717 This female mummy (age approximately 30-50 yrs at the time of death) was brought to Montreal from Thebes prior to 1895 by The Honourable James Ferrier, fourth mayor of Montreal.  As reported by Ferrier, the head was uncovered and revealed short, straight white hair.  Subsequent reports through out the years describe many missing teeth, ante mortem and post mortem.  Hair and tooth lost is reflected in the final facial approximation.

RM2718 This male mummy (age approximately 20-30 yrs at TOD) was also brought to Montreal from Thebes sometime before 1895 by James Ferrier.  In his report to the Natural History Society (Ferrier, 1859), the mummy was described as having an “abundance of straight brown hair”.  New dental discoveries and curly hair were revealed in the scans and described in the preliminary report by Wade, A.D., et al. (Scenes from the Past, Multidetector CT of Egyptian Mummies of the Redpath Museum 2012).

RM2720 This Ptolemaic female (age approximately 18-24 yrs at the time of death) was donated to McGill University by Sir Thomas Roddic in May 1895. A note in the university archives dating from 1904 indicates that the mummy was found in a tomb or pit in the solid rock at Hawara-el-Maktaa, about 150 yds from the Pyramid of Amun-am-hat (Amenemhat III). The hairstyle found within the wrappings seen in the scan helps narrow and confirm the time frame during which mummification likely occurred.


Hetep Bastet

Hetep Bastet is an Egyptian Mummy (ca. 600BC) housed in the Galerie de l’Université du Québec à Montréal.  The osteobiographic analysis of this mummy was presented in Nelson et al. (2009).  Here, the outcome of dual energy segmentation techniques is used to produce a model of the skull and the forensic techniques used to reconstruct the mummy’s face.

This is the first elderly female clay Egyptian mummy facial reconstruction to incorporate standard aging factors to produce a second visage.  Today, this forensic application of facial modification could offer additional leads to the identity of unknown remains by depicting the face at earlier stages of adulthood. 



Moimango - Anga Chief - Koke Village, Papua, New Guinea

 National Geographic Expedition leads to the restoration of the remains of Moimango, Chief of the Anga tribe who was mummified 50 yrs ago in the smoked tradition of his ancestors.

Dr. Andrew Nelson, University of Western Ontario and Dr. Ron Beckett, Quinnipiac University travelled to New Guinea as part of a team to restore the mummified remains which had deteriorated over time.  As is the tradition, the villagers often visit the smoked remains of Moimango on the cliffs overlooking the village.

The facial reconstruction of Moimango was completed using measurements and photographs of the mummified remains then presented to Gemtasu, present Chief and son of Moimango.

The presentation was captured by Ulla Lohmann, National Geographic photojournalist in the Koke village hut as Gemtasu, overcome by emotion, (center) saw his father's face for the first time in 50 yrs.

Photo courtesy of Ulla Lohmann

Read the article by Ed Stannard, New Haven Register to learn more.

:  Poster presented at the Canadian Association of Physical Anthropologists (CAPA - 2010) - Dr. Andrew Nelson, Dr. Ron Beckett and Victoria Lywood.



2014- Dr. Andrew Nelson from the University of Western Ontario, who lead the team that examined “Justine”, announced that in collaboration with Gayle Gibson, Royal Ontario Museum Egyptologist, they had discovered “Justine’s” real name and occupation when she was alive more than 3,000 years ago. 

To read more about the discovery:

Nefer-Mut has left THE MUSEUM in Kitchener, Ontario

Nefer-Mut is now on display in Sudbury, Ontario.  See King Tutankhamun: Treasures from the Pharaoh's Tomb', running from March 7 to September 7, 2015 at Dynamic Earth.

-New research and information regarding tissue depth measurements, nasal projection and hairstyle were received and applied by removing the face of the original sculpture and rebuilding the musculature using the new information.
In an historic recreation like Justine, we use information from all the experts, to determine the details of hairstyle, color, eyes etc., with possible clues found in the CT scan of the bones, mummy wrappings or sarcophagus without disturbing the wrapped body.

The Royal Ontario Museum Mummy


Dr. Andrew Nelson, University of Western Ontario, analysed  an adult mummy from the Royal Ontario Museum. A forensic facial reconstruction was completed on a RP skull made at John Abbott College using the CT scan skull data. The mummy, dubbed “Justine” was in her late twenties at the time of her death, and not of royal birth.  A synthetic wig was modified requiring more than 50 hours labour.  Accessories were designed and produced: beads are fashioned from polymer clay and strung to represent faience and the head band indicates a coarse linen fabric.  Acrylic paint was applied as black eye makeup and red ochre lips to depict the mummy as a non-royal, young, adult, Egyptian female living in the XXIst Dynasty.

For more information on the mummy see: The ROM Mummy Project – 30+ years of progress.

Poster presented to the 36th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Physical Anthropologists, Nov. 7, 2008. Click Here 
The Mummy Team: Nelson, A.J., Holowka, S., Allan, G., Castle, M., Chhem, R., Cunningham, I.A., Ewanchyna, M., Friedman, S.N., Garvin., G., Gibson, G., Granton, P.V, Kogon, S., Longstaffe, F., Lywood, V., Nguyen, N., Romagnoli, C., Shaw, R., Trumpour, M., Wade, A.D., White, C.D.,Wilson, T. 2008.

***An animated version of the ROM Mummy facial reconstruction was featured in the video "Virtual Mummies" - Canadian Museum of Civilization production which accompanied the exhibit "Tombs of Eternity. The Afterlife in Ancient Egypt." (shown December 2008 to August 2009). * (note-this video is not the IMAX movie) _____________________________________________________________________________

The 1st Bolzano Mummy Conference was held in Bolzano Italy, March 2009.  "Justine" was there to visit theTyrolean Iceman "Oetzi" as part of  the world's largest mummy exhibition (previously shown in Mannheim and Schloss Gottorf in Germany).

The Rom / UWO Mummy Project "A Microcosm of Progress in Mummy Research" was presented by Dr. Andrew J. Nelson. Click here to read the exciting details of this research revealed by the Mummy Team.  _____________________________________________________________________