16.07.2020 change 16.07.2020
Szymon Zdziebłowski
Szymon Zdziebłowski

Researchers reconstruct face of man who lived 500 years ago

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

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.

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. 

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.

PAP - Science in Poland, Szymon Zdziebłowski

tr. RL

szz/ zan/ kap/

Copyright © Foundation PAP 2020