The Lady of the Cao was found in Peru in 2005 buried with weapons and gold. Her arms and legs were covered with tattoos of snakes and spiders. Scientists have now recreated her face using digital forensics technology. The aristocrat first had her picture taken with a handheld laser scanner. Researchers then used her skull to reconstruct her face into a full-scale model.
She died in her twenties some 1,700 years ago and ruled over a desert valley in ancient Peru, where her elaborately tattooed body was wrapped in 20 layers of fabric and buried with weapons and gold objects.
But a glimpse of the former priestess, the Lady of Cao, can now be seen in a replica of her face unveiled by culture officials and archaeologists on Monday.
Using 3D forensics technology, the replica was based on the Lady of Cao’s skull structure and took 10 months to create.
The international team of researchers behind the effort, led by experts at Peru’s El Brujo museum where the mummy is currently on display, first took pictures of the Lady of Cao’s remains with a state-of-the-art, handheld laser scanner.
The scanner was designed for industrial use and is now commonly used in forensic investigations.
The scanned data was then entered into a computer, which digitally stripped away her facial skin to reveal her skull bones.