Face of a Scottish soldier who died in 1650 is revealed

  • The images were created using the skull of a skeleton that was discovered in Durham in 2013
  • Scans revealed a previously unidentified facial scar on the soldier that has been included in the final image
  • The soldier is depicted wearing a blue bonnet, brown jacket and shirt typical of Scottish soldiers of the time 
  • Researchers hope that the reconstruction will help shed light on where the soldier came from, his health, and any illnesses he suffered from during his life 

He was imprisoned and died in Durham following the Battle of Dunbar in 1650, but a Scottish soldier has now been brought back to life in new images.

Scientists have recreated the face of the soldier using digital reconstruction technology. 

Researchers hope that the reconstruction will help shed light on where the soldier came from, his health, and any illnesses he suffered from during his life.

Scroll down for video 

He was imprisoned and died in Durham following the Battle of Dunbar in 1650, but a Scottish soldier has now been brought back to life - or at least his face has. Scientists have recreated the face of the soldier using digital reconstruction technology

He was imprisoned and died in Durham following the Battle of Dunbar in 1650, but a Scottish soldier has now been brought back to life – or at least his face has. Scientists have recreated the face of the soldier using digital reconstruction technology

THE SCANNING TECHNIQUE 

The images and video were created by researchers from Durham University, using the skull of the skeleton that was found in Durham in 2013. 

The process of developing the reconstruction included careful re-assembly of the skull to allow for a detailed digital scan to be undertaken.

The digital scan was then used, together with information from Durham University’s research on the age of the soldier at death, to build up the facial features.

A previously unidentified facial scar on the soldier was identified through the scanning process and has been included in the final image.

The images and video were created by researchers from Durham University, using the skull of the skeleton that was found in Durham in 2013.

Professor Chris Gerrard, who worked on the project, said: ‘Following their discovery we have continued to conduct research on the remains, using a host of modern archaeological techniques to learn as much as possible about these individuals.

‘To complement this work we asked experts at FaceLab, based at Liverpool John Moores University, to create a digital reconstruction of one of the skulls.

‘The resulting image is a poignant opportunity to come face to face with a young man who lived and died over 300 years ago.’

FaceLab specialises in the reconstruction of faces for archaeological and forensic purposes.

The process of developing the reconstruction included careful re-assembly of the skull to allow for a detailed digital scan to be undertaken.

The digital scan was then used, together with information from Durham University’s research on the age of the soldier at death, to build up the facial features.

Pictured is one of the layers of the scan, with the bones shown

This scan shows a layer of muscle added to the reconstruction

The process of developing the reconstruction included careful re-assembly of the skull to allow for a detailed digital scan to be undertaken. The digital scan was then used, together with information from Durham University’s research on the age of the soldier at death, to build up the facial features 

WHO WAS HE?

The reconstruction is based on the skull of a male, known only to the project team as ‘Skeleton 22’.

Analysis of Skeleton 22 has previously revealed that he was aged between 18 and 25 when he died, had suffered periods of poor nutrition during childhood and had lived in South West Scotland during the 1630s.

Prof Gerrard said: ‘Analysis of the dental calculus has revealed a lot about the conditions in which this man, known to us only as ‘Skeleton 22’, grew up.

‘This information combined with the digital facial reconstruction gives us a remarkable, and privileged, glimpse into this individual’s past.’

A previously unidentified facial scar on the soldier was identified through the scanning process and has been included in the final image.

Professor Caroline Wilkinson, of Face Lab, said: ‘This unique facial image was created using the very latest techniques housed at Liverpool John Moores University’s Face Lab.

‘This combines a 3D craniofacial depiction system with digital modelling software and facial and anatomical datasets, which can provide the most accurate and lifelike images of an array of fascinating archaeological and forensic art depictions.

‘In this case, our collaboration with Durham University enabled us to draw on scans and data to create the most accurate and lifelike image possible to enable a true glimpse into the past of this Scottish soldier and how his life had been lived.

‘It will join a collection of work by Face Lab reconstructing historical figures including Robert the Bruce, Richard III and St Nicholas.’

The soldier is depicted wearing a blue bonnet, brown jacket and shirt typical of Scottish soldiers of the time.

The reconstruction is based on the skull of a male, known only to the project team as ‘Skeleton 22’.

Professor Gerrard said: 'Analysis of the dental calculus has revealed a lot about the conditions in which this man, known to us only as 'Skeleton 22', grew up. This information combined with the digital facial reconstruction gives us a remarkable, and privileged, glimpse into this individual's past'

Professor Gerrard said: ‘Analysis of the dental calculus has revealed a lot about the conditions in which this man, known to us only as ‘Skeleton 22′, grew up. This information combined with the digital facial reconstruction gives us a remarkable, and privileged, glimpse into this individual’s past’

Analysis of Skeleton 22 has previously revealed that he was aged between 18 and 25 when he died, had suffered periods of poor nutrition during childhood and had lived in South West Scotland during the 1630s.

Professor Gerrard said: ‘Analysis of the dental calculus has revealed a lot about the conditions in which this man, known to us only as ‘Skeleton 22’, grew up.

‘This information combined with the digital facial reconstruction gives us a remarkable, and privileged, glimpse into this individual’s past.’

Professor Caroline Wilkinson, of Face Lab, said: 'This unique facial image was created using the very latest techniques housed at Liverpool John Moores University's Face Lab. This combines a 3D craniofacial depiction system with digital modelling software and facial and anatomical datasets, which can provide the most accurate and lifelike images of an array of fascinating archaeological and forensic art depictions'

Professor Caroline Wilkinson, of Face Lab, said: ‘This unique facial image was created using the very latest techniques housed at Liverpool John Moores University’s Face Lab. This combines a 3D craniofacial depiction system with digital modelling software and facial and anatomical datasets, which can provide the most accurate and lifelike images of an array of fascinating archaeological and forensic art depictions’

The reconstruction is based on the skull (pictured)

Pictured is one of the layers of the reconstruction

The reconstruction is based on the skull of a male, known only to the project team as ‘Skeleton 22’. Analysis of Skeleton 22 has previously revealed that he was aged between 18 and 25 when he died, had suffered periods of poor nutrition during childhood and had lived in South West Scotland during the 1630s

The remains of the Scottish soldiers were originally discovered in November 2013 on Palace Green, on Durham City’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Analysis concluded that they were those of Scottish soldiers taken prisoner after the 1650 Battle of Dunbar, solving a near 400-year-old mystery about what became of those soldiers who died in Durham.

Research on the remains is ongoing and the team is combining this with study of historical documents from the period.

THE BATTLE OF DUNBAR  

Following Parliamentary victory in the first and the second Civil Wars, Charles I had been executed in January 1649 and a Commonwealth declared in England.

In June 1650 his son landed in Scotland, where he was proclaimed King Charles II.

In July the English Parliament, expecting Charles to initiate a Scottish led campaign for the English crown, launched a pre-emptive invasion of Scotland.

Ten thousand men and 5,000 horses from the New Model Army was sent north under the command of Oliver Cromwell.

Scottish forces numbering 25,000 were raised in response, under General Sir David Leslie.

Leslie fought a defensive campaign about Edinburgh, avoiding a pitched battle.

Following the battle, Cromwell was able to march to Edinburgh where he eventually captured the capital following the defeat of the castle. Prisoners were force-marched towards England, to prevent any attempt at rescue, and imprisoned in Durham Cathedral (Cromwell at Dunbar, painted by Andrew Carrick Gow pictured)

Following the battle, Cromwell was able to march to Edinburgh where he eventually captured the capital following the defeat of the castle. Prisoners were force-marched towards England, to prevent any attempt at rescue, and imprisoned in Durham Cathedral (Cromwell at Dunbar, painted by Andrew Carrick Gow pictured)

The New Model Army was transported by sea via the port of Dunbar.

Having failed to bring Sir Leslie to battle they were forced by the weather, sickness and supply problems, to retire to Dunbar, first in early August and then again in late August.

Sir Leslie, outnumbering the New Model two-to-one, saw his opportunity and marched around Dunbar to cut Cromwell’s road connection to the border fortress of Berwick.

Cromwell now finally had Leslie offering battle, but his New Model Army was at a severe disadvantage. Despite this, rather than evacuate by sea, Cromwell met the challenge, achieving what was arguably the most dramatic victory of the Civil Wars.

Following the battle, Cromwell was able to march to Edinburgh where he eventually captured the capital following the defeat of the castle.

Prisoners were force-marched towards England, to prevent any attempt at rescue, and imprisoned in Durham Cathedral.

Conditions on the march and in the prison were terrible. Of the reported 6,000 prisoners, 5,000 were marched south resulting in the loss of 2,000, a further 1500 dying whilst in captivity and the majority of the survivors sold into slavery. More died as a result of capture than on the battlefield.

Sources: The Battlesfield Trust/Historic UK 

The aim is to learn more about where the soldiers came from, their health and what illnesses they suffered from at different stages of their lives.

In autumn 2016 the researchers also visited the USA to learn more about what became of those soldiers who, following imprisonment in Durham, were later transported to areas including Massachusetts and Maine, USA. These soldiers worked as indentured servants in ironworks and sawmills.

Once research on the remains is completed they will be reburied at the Elvet Hill Road Cemetery in Durham, close to where the remains were originally found. 

Pictured is the skeleton in the ground where it was discovered in Durham

Around 3,000 soldiers were imprisoned in Durham Cathedral and Castle, at a time when the Cathedral was empty and abandoned

The images and video were created by researchers from Durham University, using the skull of the skeleton that was found in Durham in 2013

The Battle of Dunbar was one of the most brutal and short battles of the 17th Century civil wars, after which thousands of soldiers were marched over 100 miles from the South East of Scotland to Durham in North East England.

Around 3,000 soldiers were imprisoned in Durham Cathedral and Castle, at a time when the Cathedral was empty and abandoned.

Of those who survived imprisonment in Durham some were employed locally in coal mines, at salt pans and as weavers whilst others were sent to King’s Lynn to help with drainage projects on the Fens.

Some soldiers were sent to France to fight or crossed the Atlantic to places such as Barbados and New England, where they worked as indentured servants. 

The Battle of Dunbar was one of the most brutal and short battles of the Seventeenth Century civil wars, after which thousands of soldiers were marched over 100 miles from the South East of Scotland to Durham in North East England

The Battle of Dunbar was one of the most brutal and short battles of the Seventeenth Century civil wars, after which thousands of soldiers were marched over 100 miles from the South East of Scotland to Durham in North East England

Pictured is one of the researchers scanning the skull

The skull had to be carefully pieced together

Research on the remains is ongoing and the Durham University team is combining this with study of historical documents from the period






Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *