Mummified head of Pharaoh Ramses II, with artificially enhanced nose.
Did you know that the first plastic surgery was performed in Ancient Egypt? No, not on the living, but it was considered crucial to the Egyptians who were mummified.
In the afterlife, the only physical feature believed to be completely retained was the facial structure, but mummification dried the body such that the face was often unrecognizable. Ramses II was known for his elongated nose, so to ensure he would be recognized as a king in the afterlife, bone and seeds were surgically inserted under the skin of his nose after the desiccation of mummification, to restore and exaggerate its original shape.
Read more about plastic surgery, from Ancient Egypt to Tagliacozzi, to Harold Gillies’ wartime facial reconstruction in my mental_floss article!
Image: Catalogue General Antiquites Egyptiennes du Musee du Caire; The Royal Mummies. G. Elliot Smith, 1912.

Mummified head of Pharaoh Ramses II, with artificially enhanced nose.

Did you know that the first plastic surgery was performed in Ancient Egypt? No, not on the living, but it was considered crucial to the Egyptians who were mummified.

In the afterlife, the only physical feature believed to be completely retained was the facial structure, but mummification dried the body such that the face was often unrecognizable. Ramses II was known for his elongated nose, so to ensure he would be recognized as a king in the afterlife, bone and seeds were surgically inserted under the skin of his nose after the desiccation of mummification, to restore and exaggerate its original shape.

Read more about plastic surgery, from Ancient Egypt to Tagliacozzi, to Harold Gillies’ wartime facial reconstruction in my mental_floss article!

Image: Catalogue General Antiquites Egyptiennes du Musee du Caire; The Royal Mummies. G. Elliot Smith, 1912.

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