|A mummy from the British Museum was a small woman in her early 20s with delicate features, a narrow face and thick lips. Her face appears to match the features of her portrait. (Image credit: Caroline Wilkinson/University of Dundee Centre for Anatomy & Human Identification)|
“It is believed that they were almost certainly painted during the lifetimes of the individuals and clearly were not idealized images,” Brier said of the portraits.
But one face didn’t match the portrait at all, leading the researchers to believe the ancient embalmers might have wrapped the mummy with the wrong portrait.
“It is possible that during the mummification procedure, when several bodies were being mummified at the same time, a mismatch occurred,” Brier said.