Archaeologists released a gorgeous image showing a digital reconstruction of a colorful leopard’s face that once adorned an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus.
The leopard’s head would have aligned with mummy’s head inside the sarcophagus, researchers from the University of Milan explained in a statement.
That position was likely chosen to offer the deceased the strength necessary to complete their overseas journey and to regenerate.
“We made the discovery at the end of January 2019, but just finished the ‘virtual’ restoration of the fragment,” Patrizia Piacentini, director of the excavation for the Egyptian-Italian Mission at West Aswan, told Live Science.
The animal itself represented power and determination in ancient Egypt, according to the researchers.
A tomb nearby held something else rather unique: pine nuts.
“We like to imagine that the people buried in the tomb of Aswan loved this rare seed — so much so that their relatives placed a bowl next to the deceased that contained them, so that they could feed on them for eternity,” Piacentini said in a statement.