We’re curious to know what ancient people really looked like. We have their portraits, but some of them are highly subjective representations of the artists’ point of view. In some cases, skeletal remains were the only things that remained of our ancestors. However, advanced technology helps today’s scientists to recreate the appearance of ancient people. For example, they use forensic facial reconstruction to help us see what they really looked like. It recreates the face of a person through the structure and anatomy of their skull. In this article, we invite you to take a look at the different reconstructions of ancient people’s appearances — some of them lived hundreds, even thousands of years ago but now, they look very much alive.
1. Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien Robespierre was a true conductor of ideas during the Reign of Terror. Paradoxically, he was taken to the guillotine by his former followers. Scientists created a 3D reconstruction of Robespierre’s face based on his death mask. The result turned out to be just as contradictory as the perceived image of the famous revolutionary.
2. Johann Sebastian Bach
Eminent composer Johann Sebastian Bach lived and created his works in both the 17th and 18th centuries. The German master composer left behind more than 1,000 unique musical works. The collection of his works combines almost all genres of his time, except for opera. Scientists recreated his appearance based on the structure of his skull.
3. Henry IV, King of France
The king of Huguenots, Henry IV lived circa 1553-1610 and is known as the founder of the Royal Dynasty of Bourbon. King Henry cared about his people and the country and was called “Good King Henry”. The king was murdered at the age of 57 by a fanatic. Based on his skeletal material, scientists created quite an accurate computer model of Henry IV’s appearance.
4. Richard III, King of England
The King of England and the last of the Plantagenets lived in the second half of the 15th century. In Shakespeare’s play, Richard III was portrayed as an appallingly cruel and cunning person. However, scientists still argue about his personality — it’s really hard to find the truth in the palace’s intrigues and tangles of the past. The king’s remains were discovered in a parking lot several years ago. Based on this data and the examination of the king’s skull, scientists created this plastic model of his face.
5. A young man from the Middle Ages
This man lived during the Middle Ages in Scotland. He was somewhere between 13 and 17 years old. He was presumed to have been treated in a hospital and died there. Scientists made use of forensic medical modeling to recreate the boy’s facial muscles and tissues. Then they used a computer program to recreate his facial features.
6. A woman from Ancient Rome who died in Herculaneum
This young woman was one of 20 people who tried to hide from the Vesuvius eruption in the boathouse. Presumably, she came from a wealthy family.