The skeletal remains of the ‘Upper Largie Woman’, uncovered in a quarry in Scotland, has undergone a detailed facial reconstruction using a combination of 3D printing and plasticine clay techniques. This Bronze Age individual was discovered in 1997, buried in a unique crouched position. The recent reconstruction depicts her with dark braided hair, donning a deer-skin outfit.
A CT scan was first taken, allowing the construction of the 3D printed skull, to which plasticine was added. Notably, the woman’s mandible was missing, and part of the cranium was fragmented, necessitating significant repair work. Oscar Nilsson, a Swedish forensic artist, undertook the reconstruction. Nilsson relied on tissue depth charts and took into account her probable age, undernourishment, and regional origin to create a detailed facial representation. Indications from the skull suggest she had wide-set eyes, a broad nose, a rounded forehead, and a broad mouth.
You can see the reconstructed result in the picture below.
Isotope analysis indicates that she was local to Scotland, and shards of Beaker pottery near her remains hint at her association with the Beaker culture. This culture, known for its distinctive pottery, originated in Central Europe, with ancestral links to the Eurasian Steppe, eventually reaching Britain around 2400 B.C.
Archaeological advancements like this illustrate the profound ways in which ancient history can be brought to life. As the 3D printing industry continues to evolve, it is anticipated that archaeological and forensic reconstructions will shed light on our ancestors with even greater precision and insight.
For those wondering what has become of the remains, Upper Largie Woman has been “sensitively ‘reburied’” in the same position that she was buried in 4,000 years ago.
Come and let us know your thoughts on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages, and don’t forget to sign up for our weekly additive manufacturing newsletter to get all the latest stories delivered right to your inbox.