Facial Reconstruction Technology Recreates Priest Who Died 900 Years Ago

Experts say they have successfully reconstructed the facial features of a priest who reportedly died 900 years ago. The skeleton of the minister was found earlier this year at the Lincoln Cathedral in England. Analysis of the priest’s remains showed he was about 5-feet 7-inches tall and between 35 and 45 years old upon his death, Lincoln Cathedral officials said.

Buried With Religious Items

Church officials also revealed that some religious items were found buried with the skeleton. These include a pewter paten, the plate used to hold the Eucharistic bread, and chalice, which reflected his role as a cleric. Similar religious objects have been found to date back to the 12th and 13th centuries.

Archaeological consultancy firm Allen Archaeology was involved in the remains’ excavation and also worked with Hew Morrison, a forensic artist, to reconstruct the face of the priest. In a statement, Lincoln Cathedral explained: “The outcome looks like a real-life photo; enabling the people of Lincoln and Lincolnshire to come face to face with the medieval priest.”

facial reconstruction showed actual face of priest who died 900 years ago

facial reconstruction showed actual face of priest who died 900 years ago Photo: Gerd Altmann – Pixabay

No Indication Of Injury or Disease

The hair and eye color of the priest, however, is still unknown, due to the pending the results of DNA testing. His skull features, such as his slightly asymmetrical chin and close-set eyes, have been used as a basis in the reconstruction. In an interview with Fox News, Morrison said that the priest’s lip size, as well as the width and height of his mouth, were recreated accurately by measuring the teeth enamel of the skeleton.

Lincoln Cathedral officials also stated that based on the bone report, there was no sign that the priest may have suffered from a life-threatening injury or disease. “The degeneration of the discs of his lower spine show that the priest was involved in some level of physical activity, and are within the changes that would be expected to have occurred with age,” church officials said. They added that his remains indicated the priest was well-nourished and may have had a risk-free lifestyle.

Centuries-Old Cathedral

The construction of Lincoln Cathedral in England reportedly started in 1072 and was consecrated in 1092. It is one of the country’s famous gothic cathedrals, and according to historical documents, it was adjudged in 1311 as the tallest building in the world when a new spire and tower replaced its Central Tower. The famed cathedral held on to the title for 238 years.

This is not the first time facial reconstruction technology was used to provide modern men with a glimpse of the past. In 2018, archeological experts utilized 3D technology to reconstruct the facial features of an 18th-century “witch.”

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