Three-dimensional model of an ancient Egyptian falcon mummy skeleton
Article publication date: 15 June 2015
The purpose of this paper is to present the first detailed three-dimensional (3D) print from micro-computed tomography data of the skeleton of an ancient Egyptian falcon mummy.
Radiographic analysis of an ancient Egyptian falcon mummy housed at Iziko Museums of South Africa was performed using non-destructive x-ray micro-computed tomography. A 1:1 physical replica of its skeleton was printed in a polymer material (polyamide) using 3D printing technology.
The combination of high-resolution computed tomography scanning and rapid prototyping allowed us to create an accurate 1:1 model of a biological object hidden by wrappings. This model can be used to study skeletal features and morphology and also enhance exhibitions hosted within the museum.
This is the first replica of its kind made of an ancient Egyptian falcon mummy skeleton. The combination of computed tomography scanning and 3D printing has the potential to facilitate scientific research and stimulate public interest in Egyptology.
Funding for the project was provided by Stellenbosch University Subcommittees A and B. The micro-CT scanner at Stellenbosch University’s Central Analytical Facilities was acquired via the South African National Research Foundation equipment fund. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript. The authors thank Stellenbosch University and Central University of Technology for providing facilities. The kind cooperation of Iziko Museums of South Africa is acknowledged. Megan Spitzer from the Division of Birds, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, kindly verified the identification of the falcon. Carina Beyer and Eva Raal took the photographs of the falcon mummy and 3D print, respectively.
Du Plessis, A., Slabbert, R., Swanepoel, L.C., Els, J., Booysen, G.J., Ikram, S. and Cornelius, I. (2015), "Three-dimensional model of an ancient Egyptian falcon mummy skeleton", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 368-372. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-09-2013-0089
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