Researchers reconstruct face of Polish man who lived 500 years ago

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Researchers have reconstructed the face of a man who lived 500 years ago in the town of Dzwonowo, in Wielkopolska.

Researchers reconstruct face of Polish man who lived 500 years ago
The face of the man was reconstructed using 3D technology
[Credit: Dzwonowo Zaginione miasto]




Thought to have been a merchant, researchers estimate that the man who would have been between the ages of 35-45 when he died probably comes from the beginning of the 14th century or the second half of the 16th century.

After making a 3D print of the man’s skull, Wrocław anthropologists Beata Drupa and Joanna Wysocka carefully reconstructed the face using plastics.

The remains of the man were found during archaeological work which began in 2014 in fields near the village of Niedźwiedziny.

Researchers reconstruct face of Polish man who lived 500 years ago
The man’s remains were discovered in the lost village of Dzwonowo,
west Poland [Credit: Dzwonowo Zaginione miasto]




By using analysis of aerial images, archaeologist Marcin Krzepkowski found traces of buildings, including a cemetery.

After examining over 100 graves they discovered the well preserved skull and skeletal remains of the man.

Analysis of the skull showed distinct facial asymmetry, especially in the area around the eyes and nose and the way the ears are placed.

Researchers reconstruct face of Polish man who lived 500 years ago
Although researchers have no idea who the man was, they estimate that
he was around 35-44 years old [Credit: B. Drupa & J. Wysocka]




According to the anthropologists, this was a consequence of the asymmetrical development of the facial bones and the cranium. The defect may have been caused by premature growth of the right half of the coronal suture.

Researchers think that the location of the village was a major route connecting Poznań with Gdańsk.

But competition from other towns founded later near Dzwonowo (Goślina Kościelna, Skoków) probably caused its slow decline.

It is possible that the town also suffered during the civil war in the late 14th century. Currently, it has only 12 inhabitants.

The face model will be on display in September at an outdoor event at the site of the archaeological research.

Author: Szymon Zdziebłowski | Source: PAP – Science in Poland [July 17, 2020]

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