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NUANCE: Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center

NUANCE Featured on Discovery Channel Program

NUANCE was featured on a recent episode of the Discovery Channel’s “Daily Planet” program. The program featured rare “portrait mummies”, Egyptian mummies that have portraits attached to the faces of their bandaged bodies. Only about one hundred of these mummies are known to exist, and the Northwestern Block Museum of Art is fortunate enough to have one in its collection. The museum’s mummy was to taken to the EPIC facilities in Cook Hall, where it was examined using the Hitachi S-3400 SEM. While the analysis was unable to determine the mummy’s death, it did reveal that the mummy is a female child who died at the age of five, and suggested that she was treated lavishly in life due to the quality of the materials that were used in her mummification. Opportunities such as this are incredibly important to NUANCE, as it allows the center to perform valuable research that helps advance study in the field of both art and science. Click on this link to see NUANCE and the Northwestern Block Museum of Art being featured on the program.

The Block Museum's portrait mummy undergoing tests at NUANCE.


Archaeologists and researchers examining pictures of the mummy.


Researchers and crew members taking a brief pause from filming.