A set of bones found under a parking lot several years ago that were suspected to be Richard III have been confirmed as the lost king, and forensic artists have reconstructed the man’s face from a mold of the skull and DNA from his bones. The face shows a 32 year old man with a pleasant face, unlike Shakespeare’s portrayal of him that casts him as a child-murdering villain.
That brings us to Shakespeare himself, whose face was reconstructed using a death mask found in Germany. This, of course, may not be him, since the death mask has not been absolutely proved to be him, but the model shows a possible Shakespeare as a much more quiet and less passionate figure than he is portrayed today. His face also hints that he may have suffered from cancer.
This is the King Tutankhamun, the famous 19 year old “boy king” who had buckteeth, a receding chin, and a slim nose, all traits of his Irish DNA.
Queen Nefertiti, another famous Egyptian, was tentatively discovered by archaeologist Johann Fletcher. To make sure, two British forensic experts took models of the skull, and, working blindly, produced this model. If you are familiar with the history of Queen Nefertiti, it strongly resembles the bust of the queen, proving without a doubt that Johann Fletcher had found Nefertiti’s tomb.
Cleopatra and her half-sister Arsinoe IV hated each other so much that Cleopatra had her sister murdered. When archaeologists found her tomb, they took DNA samples which showed that she was more European that African. Her face was digitally reconstructed using laser scans of her skull.
Nicolaus Copernicus, a famous philosopher, astronomer, and scientist, died in 1543 at age 70 in an unmarked grave. Scientists found his body in a Polish church by comparing his bones’ DNA to a hair found in one of his books, and Polish police made a model of his head, making sure to include his broken nose and scar above his left eye.
King Henri IV’s disembodied and mummified head had been lost to history until just a few years ago, when a tax collector found the horrifying thing up in his attic. Good thing he didn’t throw it out, because with the head, we are able to recreate what he looked like when he was killed in 1610 at the age of 56.
Stolen in 1087 and placed in a church in Bari, Italy, the remains of St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus, have kept their secrets as to what this famous figure looked like. The reproduction reveals a small man – maybe only 5’6″ – but with a huge, masculine head and a strong jaw. It appears that he also had a broken nose, possibly from a Roman soldier.
(via Mental Floss)