Face of Ramesses II reconstructed

3D reconstruction work has enabled researchers to put a face to Rameses II, 3,300 years after his death.

The face of Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II has been recreated using state-of-the-art techniques by the Face Lab research team at Liverpool John Moores University.

Reconstruction of what Ramesses II may have looked like age 45. VIDEO: Face Lab, Liverpool John Moores University 

Ramesses II, one of the great kings of Egypt, ruled between 1293 and 1212 BC during the New Kingdom period.

The team, led by Professor Caroline Wilkinson, and working in collaboration with Professor Sahar Saleem from the University of Cairo, used computerised tomography (CT) scanning data, historical information about the pharaoh, and photographs of his skull to reconstruct how he may have looked at age 45 and at 90 (his age of death).

Reconstruction of what Ramesses II might have looked like at aged 90. VIDEO: Face Lab, Liverpool John Moores University 

The 3D reconstructions took three months to produce.

Professor Wilkinson, describing how the team went about interpreting the pharaoh’s features, said: ‘When we look at a skull for the first time, we are initially looking for the most visible characteristic details. For example, on Ramesses II there is a very wide nasal bone. It is, between the eyes, very high and very pronounced.’

The team used software often employed in criminal reconstructions to pinpoint the position of the pharaoh’s facial muscles.

‘The stronger a muscle is where it is anchored, the more its attachments will leave visible marks on the surface of the skull,’ explained Professor Wilkinson.

The Face Lab team have been responsible for the facial reconstructions of many famous historical figures, including King Richard III and Robert the Bruce.