2000-year-old woman’s face reconstructed

February 8th, 2010 - 3:40 pm ICT by ANI  

Copenhagen, Feb 8 (ANI): The face of the 2000-year-old body of a woman, which was found in a bog in Denmark, has been reconstructed.

According to a report in The Copenhagen Post, the female, known as the ‘Auning Woman’, was found in a northeastern Jutland bog in 1886, and housed at the Museum for Culture and History in Randers.

Reasonably well-preserved when she was discovered, the woman’s 2000-year-old skull was broken into several pieces.

But sculptor Bjorn Skaarup and medical examiner Niels Lynnerup from the Panum Institute in Copenhagen have now reconstructed the Auning Woman’s face, using the common forensic clay method first developed by Russian anthropologist Mikhail Gerasimov.

The finished product has been put on display today at the museum.

With a plastic copy of the body’s skull - and knowing the sex and approximate age of the deceased - the pair of researcher is able to determine the general shape of the head and face, including the size of the nose and mouth.

Skaarup first creates the model’s muscles and tendons with help from Lynnerup as a kind of medical advisor.

Then each layer of ’skin’ is added on and moulded into shape.

Although the results have shown the Auning Woman to be neither attractive nor particularly ugly, a reproduction of her face that is according to Lynnerup ‘as close to reality as it comes’, can now be viewed.

Experts believe the woman was killed as a sacrifice, probably to pagan gods.

“She was a perfectly ordinary looking woman,” said Lynnerup, adding that the degree of recognition accuracy from the forensic process is around 70 percent.

“There’s no way to recreate a 100 percent perfect photographic likeness,” he said.

“But we’re certain that if anyone who knew the woman were to see the reconstruction, then they’d say it looks like her,” he added. (ANI)

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