A Sculptor Shows Us the Faces of Our Ancestors Like No Books Can

ur ancestors don’t cross our minds often and for some people maybe not all. But surely you’ve been to a museum where you saw excavated bones and thought about what that person might have looked like. Well, Swedish sculptor and archaeologist Oscar D. Nilsson gave us answers to that question.

Of course,   smartzune.com wouldn’t leave you without showing you some of the mind-blowing sculptures that are rocking museums all over the world.

With the help of science and technology, Nilsson is making incredibly realistic reconstructions of thousand year-old faces. It begins with the scanning of a skull that allows a 3D-printer to make a vinyl-plastic replica of the original. Then, sex, age, weight, and ethnicity are determined. After this, it’s all up to Nilsson, who hand-sculpts the faces, muscle by muscle using plasticine clay. Once that is done, a mold is made and the face is cast in silicon.

1. The Whitehawk woman, found near Brighton, UK. About 3,500 B.C.

Researchers found her in 1933 near what is now the Brighton Racecourse, in the United Kingdom, but it’s only now that a facial reconstruction shows us what she looked like. The Whitehawk woman stood about 4 feet, 9 inches (1.45 meters) tall, which was small, even for a Neolithic woman.The Whitehawk woman lived about 5,500 years ago. Researchers found her in 1933 near what is now the Brighton Racecourse, in the United Kingdom, but it’s only now that a facial reconstruction shows us what she looked like.The Whitehawk woman stood about 4 feet, 9 inches (1.45 meters) tall, which was small, even for a Neolithic woman. She didn’t have any signs of illness of injury, and because the bones of a baby were found on her pelvis, archaeologists say it’s likely that she died in childbirth.

When she passed away 5,500 years ago, this young woman was about 20 years old. Sadly, her DNA wasn’t well preserved, but DNA analysis from other Neolithic people found in Brighton revealed that their skin color was similar to those who currently live in North Africa, and maybe even a bit darker.She was buried with two shepherd’s crowns — a type of fossil that is considered to be good luck — and two small chalk pendants with holes drilled in them, artifacts that were also believed to ward off evil.