The Reconstruction of Nebiri, an Ancient Egyptian Dignitary

July 12, 2017 - 7:30pm

Featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not!

Nebiri Mummy Head


The 3,500-year-old Egyptian noble, Nebiri, has recently been resurrected using modern forensics. The Ancient Egyptian dignitary lived during the 18th Dynasty under the reign of Pharaoh Thutmoses III.


Nebiri CC J. Fletcher


Nebiri was uncovered by Italian Egyptologist Ernesto Schiaparelli in the Valley of the Queens in Luxor around 1904, but his looted tomb only contained his mummified head and several jars stuffed with his organs.

As we know, embalming was a common practice for the Egyptians; however, his mummified head came with a little extra packing. From animal fat to coniferous tree resin, it looks like all the natural antibacterials that were found in his skull were imported, as the plants used were not native to the region.

Nebiri's lungs

Nebiri’s lungs CC J. Fletcher

This type of Embalming was found in King Tut’s great-grandparents, Yuya and Thuya. This emphasizes that Nebiri was indeed a high elite.

3D Reconstruction

Thanks to anthropological research and computer rendering, scientists have been able to reconstruct the Egyptian’s face. Believe it or not, researchers can tell a person’s age by the thickness of their tissues. It ultimately allowed them to shape the face by precisely knowing the distance between his bones and skin.

CC Philippe Froesch

CC Philippe Froesch

Just two years ago, the same team who worked on the reconstruction of Nebiri’s face was able to tell that he suffered from cardiovascular disease. He had atherosclerosis in the right carotid artery and suffered from gum disease. After scanning the lungs that were found in one of the jars, it showed aggregates of cells that are normally seen in patients who suffer from heart failure.

Did you know?

  • During the US Civil War, embalming became an imperative need for deceased soldiers’ long journeys home.
  • Underneath a 14th-century French convent are five well-preserved embalmed human hearts.
  • Embalming took place at the residence of the deceased because it became popular in the 19th century.
  • Embalming is different from taxidermy, where you only preserve the skin.
  • Canopic jars, otherwise known as vessels, carried organs that were washed and wrapped in linen strips.

Lady Cao

Source: The Reconstruction of Nebiri, an Ancient Egyptian Dignitary