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Reports & Publications

Photogrammetry and face carvings. Exploring the ‘face’ of the Egyptian anthropoid coffins by 3D-mod

Stefania Mainieri

In Ancient Egypt, New Technology. The Present and Future of Computer Visualization, Virtual Reality and Other Digital Humanities in Egyptology, edited by Rita Lucarelli, Joshua Roberson and Steve Vinson, Harvard Egyptological Studies, 17, 2023.

Digital Humanities: a holistic approach to classify Yellow Coffins

S. Mainieri, A. Mandelli, and C. Rossi

Keywords: Digital Humanities, Yellow Coffins, Photogrammetry, 3D Survey, Physiognomic, Face Landmark Recognition

Abstract. The Faces Revealed Project takes its lead from innovative research trends that see the combination of different but interconnected skills and competences. It aims at contributing to the study of ancient Egyptian coffins by developing a new and efficient methodology based on fast, simple, cost-effective, and portable technique allowing the acquisition of precise and accurate gemetric data. This technology will provide further insights into the manufacture, production, workshops, and possibly the ancient reuse of the Yellow Coffins and may also constribute to the creation of a new way of classifying these coffins.


A New Study on Two Yellow Coffins at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale Di Napoli (MANN)

Stefania Mainieri

Keywords: MANN – yellow coffins – 3rd Intermediate Period – workshops – ancient reuse


The article focuses on the results obtained from the investigation of two yellow coffins in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (MANN; inv. nos. 2344, 2348; 2341, 2347), which were sold to the Real Museo Borbonico by the traveller Giuseppe  Picchianti in 1827.
Although first studied in 1989, a new and in-depth study on painting and typology of these objects was made in 2016 on the occasion of the rearrangement of the permanent display. Starting with a detailed analysis and a precise description of the coffins, issues surrounding their provenance and chronology have now been updated.
Furthermore, it was also necessary to investigate some unclear iconographical and structural details on the coffins, an examination that suggested, on the one hand, an ancient reuse of one of the two coffins and, on the other hand, the possible production of both coffins by a possible common draftsman.

Annali, Sezione orientale 83(1-2), 2023, 3–37

Faces Revealed Project. Analysis of the Yellow Coffins in the Museo Gregoriano Egizio

Stefania Mainieri


The Egyptian coffins are complex objects from both their symbolic and religious point of view. During the long history of Ancient Egypt, coffins were subjected to substantial modifications in form, decoration and style, as well as in their traditions and use. For their value, these objects can be studied only with a multidimensional approach: from the materials used for their construction to their ideological and religious value. In this holistic vision of studying materials, in collaboration with the Vatican Coffin Project, Faces Revealed Project was born in 2018 and funded by the European fellowship Marie Skłodowska-Curie (H2020-MSCA-GF 2019: 895130) in 2019.

The project focuses on the geometry and the volumetry of the anthropoid yellow coffin lids which are worth being investigated as isolated elements. The analysis uses photogrammetry and 3D models, which allow the observation of the objects, digitally “switching off” the painted layer, and adding important elements to the knowledge of the coffins, especially in terms of construction, production and ancient reuse, themes that are at the centre of the international debate.

This article wants to summarize the first results the of Faces Revealed Project on 11 yellow coffins in the Musei Vaticani, one of the partners of the project together with the Museo Egizio di Torino, la University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Politecnico di Milano.

In Bollettino Monumenti, Musei e Gallerie Pontificie Musei Vaticani, 41, Forthcoming