Reconstructs the face of a girl who died 1300 years ago

A little more than a decade after scientists discovered the remains of a 16-year-old Anglo-Saxon girl in UK’s Cambridgeshire who died more than 1,300 years ago, they have managed to reveal her face using facial reconstruction.

To succeed in their endeavour, scientists analysed the girl’s skull to create a life-like reconstruction which showed how she looked prior to her untimely death. However, without DNA analysis, forensic artists could not render precise eye and hair colour.

The new image shows she had a fair face with pale skin, a rather petite nose, pronounced cheekbones and one eye slightly lower than the other.

“It was interesting to see her face developing. Her left eye was slightly lower, about half a centimetre, than her right eye; this would have been quite noticeable in life,” said Hew Morrison, the facial reconstruction artist who rendered the image.

The girl’s skeleton was found buried in a wooden bed with a gold and garnet cross on her chest. Despite being discovered in 2012 by British archaeologists, scientists are unsure about the origins of the ‘Trumpington girl’. They posit that she may have migrated from Germany to England as a young girl who was part of an early Christian group, spreading the teaching of Jesus.

Her diet may have changed: Scientists Some reports indicate that the girl may have died from illness but the true cause remains unknown. The scientists say upon arriving in England, the proportion of protein in the girl’s diet decreased by a small but significant amount. Although it is not clear if it had anything to do with her death.

“We now know the proportion of protein dropped, suggesting she was eating more meat and dairy products when in southern Germany than on arrival in Trumpington,” Anglo-Saxon specialist Dr Sam Lucy was quoted as saying by BBC.

The reconstructed image is slated to go on display as part of the University of Cambridge’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology exhibition which opens on Wednesday (June 21).

Facial reconstruction – a special technology Facial reconstruction is a fascinating technology through which researchers are able to unveil how certain people looked in the past. Earlier this month, scientists managed to reconstruct King Tutankhamun’s face – one of the most prominent pharaohs of ancient Egypt.

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