Faces Revealed Project

Faces Revealed Project

Investigating the faces of ‘Yellow Coffins’ through Photogrammetry. Comparison between 3D model and Digital twin for a new analysis of the manufacture, painting techniques and re-use

Faces Revealed is a  three-year research Project (2021-2024) funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 895130.

The Project in brief ...

Started in April 2021 in collaboration with the Museo Egizio di Torino, the University of California, Los Angeles, the Politecnico di Milano and the Vatican Coffin Project, the Faces Revealed Project aims to examine Egyptian yellow coffins' lids through a new methodological approach based on the analysis of facial features and other elements on the lid. To tackle this issue, the researcher will examine these objects by means of photogrammetry - a low-cost, fast, transportable and non-invasive solution - that can reveal fine surface details, which are barely discernible in visible light, because they are mostly covered by the painted layer.

The new methodology used in this project, in conjunction with more traditional approaches will allow a more holistic study of these coffins, thus providing more information regarding their manufacture and ancient reuse. Analyses were made on a small group of artefacts, and the comparison between the textured 3D model and with non-textured one shows us that in most cases the faces were painted without following the carved outline of the faces below. This evidence has never been taken into consideration before and therefore poses several interesting questions. The coffins that will be considered in this project are yellow coffins from the 19th to the beginning of the 22nd dynasty that are stored in various museums around the world. The main focus of the researcher will be to understand whether the different physiognomical traits can be linked to different workshops and if so whether they then reflect the stylistic features of a certain age group. Alongside the focus on workshops, the painted masks will be compared with the carved masks, to see how faithfully the underlying features reproduce the carved ones and whether the different features and proportions can indicate any possible reuse of these coffin masks.

This new approach makes the project particularly suitable for a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary study in which new technologies will go hand in hand with traditional analytical methods and where the combination of different skills will finally allow a full and in-depth analysis of the coffins.


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The data of the Project are stored in Zenodo repository

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