Face of medieval man reconstructed from 600-year-old skeleton

Experts believe ancient remains show someone with extensive dental and joint disease

Chiara Giordano
Tuesday 22 October 2019 22:57
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An artist's impression of a medieval skull after experts reconstructed the face of the man whose 600-year-old skeleton was unearthed during excavation work at the redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery in 2015.
An artist's impression of a medieval skull after experts reconstructed the face of the man whose 600-year-old skeleton was unearthed during excavation work at the redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery in 2015.

The face of a medieval man who lived 600 years ago has been reconstructed from a skeleton.

The remains were unearthed along with almost 60 other full skeletons during excavations at Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Facial reconstruction technology to produce an image of one man, known as Skeleton (SK) 125.

Experts at AOC Archaeology Group believe he was over 46, between 5ft 2in and 5ft 5in and suffered from extensive dental and joint disease.

Evidence suggests the man was not local to Aberdeen but may have spent his childhood in an area such as the northwest Highlands or Outer Hebrides.

Dr Paula Milburn, from the group, said: “SK 125 has provided us with a first fascinating glimpse of one of the people buried on the site of Aberdeen Art Gallery over 600 years ago.

“The ongoing post-excavation work is examining the remains in detail and will provide us with amazing information on the kind of people buried here, including their ages, gender, health and lifestyles.”

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Work on the redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery began in 2015 but was temporarily suspended to allow for archaeological investigations, which have revealed insights into the health and lifestyle of those buried.

The gallery was built in 1885 on the site of the former Blackfriars Dominican Friary, believed to have been founded between AD1222-1249.

The gallery on Schoolhill is due to reopen on Saturday after a four-year wait.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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