Scientists turn to ancient history to help police solve modern mysteries. In a world first, a team of forensic researchers from Melbourne is constructing the face of a 2,000-year-old mummy with the aim of using the technology to identify the victims of murder or mass murder.
Reconstructions would be compared against identity records such as passports and licenses ordinarily taking months to produce. This process could be speed up to a matter of days for time critical cases Including unsolved criminal investigations.
A team of Melbourne forensic researchers is conducting a world first project of child mummies. Based at the Victorian institute of forensic medicine the team includes a forensic Egyptologist a toxicologist with printing expertise, an anatomy expert and a sculptor. They have innovated printing techniques to produce true replicas of mummies sculls.
Facial reconstruction is seen as an alternative to DNA, finger print and dental databases for mass disasters when victim identification can be difficult including bush fires and plan crashes.
Professor David Ransom of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine said, sometimes things don’t work or we cannot find link or a reference sample of DNA to compare against.
Professor Ranson works in collaboration with the Deputy Director Academic Services, to develop new technologies and research programs that are used to improve forensic services.
This is a new approach but it’s also a new approach founded in ancient science,” said Professor Ranson.