The skill of some forensic artists, professionals who are dedicated to the Facial reconstruction of the deceased, is awe-inspiring. This time, we want to talk about one professional in particular who, unlike most in forensic science, did not resort to using a computer-aided approach, but instead used his hands.
For Oscar Nilsson, a Swedish archaeologist and sculptor specializing in the reconstruction of human faces, the number of hours spent in each rebuilding could easily add up to 200. Of course, Nilsson does use 3D-printed skulls of his muses to preserve the original skeletal excavations; however, the rest of face sculpting is done by hand.
In 1996, he opened a company called O.D. Nilssons. The company collaborates with museums around the world, helping them restore the faces of people whose graves were discovered during archaeological excavations. Facial reconstruction doesn’t only require an artistic touch, but also a vast knowledge of historical facts to make the people seem as natural as can be. “The human face is a motif that never ceases to fascinate me: the variation of the underlying structure as well as the variety in details seem endless. And all the faces I reconstruct are unique. They are all individuals” – says the artist on his site.
More info: Facebook | Instagram | youtube.com | odnilsson.com
1 Huarmey Queen
In 2012, in the north-west of Peru, a tomb was discovered during excavations by a Polish archeological group. The burial relating to the Indian culture of Wari (later the Empire of the Incas), was a real find for scientists because it was not looted. In the tomb were found the remains of 58 noblewomen of different ages, buried with extraordinary luxuries.
One woman, in particular, nicknamed Huarmey Queen, was buried more extravagantly than others. She was laid to rest in the company of jewelry, and other luxuries, including gold ear flares, a silver goblet, a copper ceremonial axe and, among other things, expensive textiles. In those times, textiles were considered more valuable than gold and silver due to the amount of effort required to weave one. It would sometimes take two to three generations to weave.
After careful examination, it was revealed that while Huarmey Queen spent most of her time sitting, she put her upper body to great use – weaving. It was also evident that this woman was highly praised for her expertise in the subject as her resting place was filled with weaving tools crafted out of gold.
2 A Young Woman Who Lived In The Stone Age About 5500 Years Ago
A Young Woman Who Lived In The Stone Age About 5500 Years Ago
This girl died at the age of 20. She was buried with a baby on her chest. Probably, her death was caused by difficult childbirth. The DNA is not so well preserved, but from other discovered graves of that period, it can be said that the people who lived in Brighton (United Kingdom) were not white. Their skin color was similar to that of modern people from North Africa.
3 Estrid Sigfastsdotter
It is assumed that this is Estrid Sigfastdotter, who lived in the XI century AD. She was an influential and rich woman who lived near Stockholm, in Taby. A series of runestones found in the burial site tells about her life and family.
She lived a very long life for those times – about 80 years. This is despite the fact that in the Viking Age, life expectancy was only 35 years. The appearance of the woman was restored by the remains found near the runestone, established in honor of her first husband, who died in Byzantium. Probably, Estrid was engaged in the improvement of her native land, the construction of roads and bridges.
Maria Rohlen 4 months ago (edited)
Some actually reached the age of 90 or more. A low life expectancy is because many died young as children, in childbirth, malnutrition, escapades, accidents and so on.
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4 Adelasius Elbachus
A young and handsome man from Switzerland who lived in the VIII century AD was dubbed Adelaziy Elbakhusom (Adelasius Ebalchus) by researchers. His skeleton indicates malnutrition and chronic infections. But, contrary to this, he had healthy, even and beautiful teeth, which is rare for that time. That is why he was made smiling.
5 Neanderthal Woman
This lady lived about 45-50,000 years ago. Her remains were discovered during excavations in 1848 in Gibraltar.
On his Facebook, archaeologist Oscar Nilsson notes: “Finally a few words on something I thought of and struggled with, as I saw this Neanderthal face take shape. How “human” should this face appear? They were not Homo Sapiens after all. I came to the conclusion that she must have a human glimpse in her eyes. As recent research show, Europeans share around 2-4 % DNA with Neanderthals. So they must have been so much alike us, otherwise, the offspring would not have been fertile.
It is interesting to see how the image of the Neanderthals has changed over the years: from being a drooling savage to a highly-skilled competitor to us. Worth to note is also that this new image coincides with the insight that we Europeans share 2-4% DNA with the Neanderthals.”
The man, who allegedly was a Swedish Viking, lived at the beginning of the XI century. For the first time for the reconstruction of the Viking image, it was possible to collect the necessary amount of DNA to recreate the skin, hair, eyes. The man had red hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. He died at the age of 45.
7 Primitive Neolithic
Constructed using forensic evidence derived from skeletal analysis, the face is of a 25- to 40-year-old slender man born around 5,500 years ago.