It is astonishing to know that the faces of people who lived in ancient Egypt more than 2,000 years ago have been digitally reconstructed and the evidence shows they were of 25 years at the time. the mummies were from Abusir el-Meleq, where they were buried between 1380 B.C. and A.D. 425.
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Tübingen, Germany, sequenced the mummies’ DNA in 2017; it was the first successful reconstruction of an ancient Egyptian mummy’s genome, Live Science reported at the time.
The team at Parabon NanoLabs, a DNA technology company in Reston, Virginia has created the faces through forensic DNA phenotyping. It uses genetic analysis to estimate the shape of facial features and the overall person’s physical appearance.”This is the first time comprehensive DNA phenotyping has been performed on human DNA of this age,” Parabon representatives said in a statement.
Snapshot tool was used to predict the men’s ancestry, skin color, and facial features. The men had light brown skin, dark eyes, and hair. Their genetic makeup resembled closely with the Mediterranean or the Middle Easters more than the modern Egyptians.
It may happen that the old DNA doesn’t give enough SNPs to pinpoint a given characteristic. There, scientists can infer absent genetic data from values of other SNPs nearby, said Janet Cady, a Parabon bioinformatics scientist. Statistics that are calculated from thousands of genomes reveal how closely associated each SNP is with an absent neighbor, Cady told Live Science in an email.
These processes can also help in identifying modern remains, Greytak told Live Science. There were 175 cold cases that Parabon researchers helped to solve with the use of genetic genealogy. Amongst them, nine were analyzed using the techniques from this study, Greytak said.