A 2,000-year-old mummy was analyzed by Field Museum scientists this week.
The scientists looked further into the artistic techniques behind a portrait that was part of the wrappings of the Egyptian mummy, the museum said.
The mummy is a result of the combined tradition of Egyptian mummies and Graeco-Roman portraiture with embalmed and linen-wrapped bodies, according to museum officials.
“Mummies from this time period were completed with portraits of the deceased painted on wood. These portraits were placed over the face of the deceased and incorporated into the mummy’s wrappings,” the Field Museum said in a statement.
The mummy portrait being analyzed is thought to have been on display in the 1893 World’s Fair and later added to the Field Museum’s collections.
Researchers Giovanni Verri of the Art Institute of Chicago and Marc Sebastian Walton of Northwestern University have been analyzing Roman Egyptian mummy portraits at museums around the world and learning about the artistic techniques used in these portraits.
They are working with the Chief Conservator of the Field Museum, Stephanie Hornbeck, as they investigate the museum's portrait, officials said.
They will photograph the portrait with a special camera that can capture light in the ultraviolet and infrared ranges, which is beyond what the human eye can see.
The way that the paint reflects, absorbs and emits radiation at different wavelengths will help researchers understand how the artistic techniques were applied, they explained.
“These types of investigations can reveal ancient trade routes for painting materials and manufacturing techniques taught in ancient workshops,” the Field Museum said.