Medieval man's face reconstructed from 600-year-old skull

USA Today 3 weeks ago

A group of archaeologists and researchers announced Tuesday that they have recreated the face of a medieval man whose remains were dug up in a Scotland museum four years ago.

The man, who researchers identified as Skeleton 125, was found among 60 skeletons and 4,272 bone fragments on the site of the Aberdeen Art Gallery in Aberdeen, Scotland construction on the site.

The remains represented at least 381 individuals, dated between 1050 and 1410.

Researchers found that Skeleton 125 was  more than 46 years old and shorter than the average medieval man. He was around 5 foot 2 or 5 foot 3.

Skeleton 125 was buried more than 600 years ago, one of the later burials at the site.

Dr. Paula Milburn of AOC Archaeology Group, which conducted the research, said that they were able to reconstruct Skeleton 125's face through the work of a forensic artist, Hayley Fisher. 

"From the photographs and measurements she was able to work out how the layers of muscle would have sat on his skull, and overlain the muscles with skin to give us the image that we see today," she told USA TODAY.

The man suffered joint problems and neck stiffness, according to their research. He also suffered from multiple dental issues: tooth loss, cavities, chronic abscesses and periodontal disease.

"The remains can provide archaeologists with an amazing amount of information on the kind of people buried here, including their ages, gender, health and lifestyles, including a guide to their possible diets and places of origin," Milburn told USA TODAY. 

She added that it also provides insight on whether "they lived their entire lives in Aberdeen" or whether they moved later in their lives.

Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote

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