CORDIS - EU research results

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.

Project description

Investigating the faces on yellow coffins

A central priority of ancient Egyptian religion was the protection of the body after death. Egyptians who could afford to do so would ensure that their mummified remains were placed in a coffin. The EU-funded FacesRevealed project aims to examine Egyptian yellow coffins' lids from the 19th to the beginning of 22nd Dynasty through a new methodological approach based on the analysis of facial features and other elements on the lid. This new approach, combined with more traditional ones, will allow a more holistic study of the coffins, providing more information about their construction and reuse.


This 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. In order 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 made on a small group of artefacts, and the comparison between the 3Dmodel with digital twins and Computer Tomography show 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 a number of interesting questions. The coffins that will be considered in this project are yellow coffins from the 19th to 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.

Fields of science


Net EU contribution
€ 251 002,56
10123 Turin

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Nord-Ovest Piemonte Torino
Activity type
Total cost
€ 251 002,56

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