FACE OF BRUTALLY MUR­DERED PICTISH MAN RE­CON­STRUCTED

Focus-Science and Technology - - Discoveries -

This hand­some chap may look like an East Lon­don hip­ster who knows his espresso ristretto from his latte mac­chi­ato, but he was ac­tu­ally a Pictish man who lived in the Scot­tish High­lands 1,400 years ago.

This mug shot was dig­i­tally re­con­structed from a skele­ton found buried in a cave in Black Isle, Ross-shire by re­searchers from the Univer­sity of Dundee.

The body was ar­ranged in a cross-legged po­si­tion with large stones placed on its legs and arms. Sev­eral se­vere frac­tures in the man’s skull sug­gest he was brutally mur­dered be­fore be­ing laid to rest.

“This is a fas­ci­nat­ing skele­ton in a re­mark­able state of preser­va­tion which has been ex­pertly re­cov­ered. From study­ing his re­mains we learned a lit­tle about his short life but much more about his vi­o­lent death,” said re­searcher Sue Black. “As you can see from the fa­cial re­con­struc­tion he was a strik­ing young man, but he met a very bru­tal end, suf­fer­ing a min­i­mum of five se­vere in­juries to his head.”

Ra­dio­car­bon dat­ing in­di­cates that the man died some­time be­tween 430 and 630 AD. The re­mains were sur­rounded by ev­i­dence of iron smithing from around the same pe­riod and sug­ges­tions of more re­cent leather work­ing.

On­go­ing anal­y­sis of the skele­ton and arte­facts from the cave is ex­pected to of­fer ad­di­tional de­tails of the man’s place of ori­gin and sig­nif­i­cance, as well as pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion about the cave’s ar­chae­o­log­i­cal and his­tor­i­cal im­por­tance.

Even though the man was brutally killed, his body was laid to rest with some con­sid­er­a­tion

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