Take a Peek at What Our Ancestors Really Looked Like (Some of the Images May Leave You Speechless)

4 years ago

We’re curious to know what ancient people really looked like. We have their portraits, but some of them are highly subjective representations of the artists’ point of view. In some cases, skeletal remains were the only things that remained of our ancestors. However, advanced technology helps today’s scientists to recreate the appearance of ancient people. For example, they use forensic facial reconstruction to help us see what they really looked like. It recreates the face of a person through the structure and anatomy of their skull. In this article, we invite you to take a look at the different reconstructions of ancient people’s appearances — some of them lived hundreds, even thousands of years ago but now, they look very much alive.

Bright Side invites you to take a look into the past and debunk the myths about the appearances of certain historical figures and learn that a lot of them looked similar to how we do today.

12. Neolithic man

This man lived during the Neolithic period. He was buried approximately 5,500 years ago in the territory of modern Great Britain. For the record, he was born 500 years before the first Stonehenge stone was laid. The man was 25-40 years old.

11. Ava, a woman from the Bronze Age

This young woman we know as Ava died approximately 3,700 years ago. Her remains were unearthed in Scotland in a grave carved into a rock. Ava most likely came from The Beaker people. Scottish archeologist Maya Hoole and forensic artist Hew Morrison managed to recreate the woman’s appearance.

10. Tutankhamun

The Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and the most important person in Egyptian history ruled circa 1332–1323 BC. He assumed the throne at age 10 and died before his 20th birthday. Thanks to thorough research and computerized tomography of his mummy in 2005, the world was able to see the recreated appearance of the Boy King. As we can see, his appearance had feminine features and was far from perfect.

9. A girl from Ancient Greece

This girl lived in Athens and died at the age of 11 in approximately 430 BC. About this time, Greek civilization was going through its most blossoming period.

8. Gaius Julius Caesar

The National Museum of Antiquities in The Netherlands created a mock-up of the Roman leader. Scientists had to scan a marble bust from the museum’s collection. It looks like we had a slightly different idea of how the great Roman political figure looked.

7. An ancient Roman man who died in Pompeii

On August 24, 79 A.D., the catastrophic eruption of Vesuvius destroyed ancient Roman towns Pompeii and Herculaneum. According to some sources, approximately 16,000 to 20,000 people died during the natural disaster. A British medical examiner recreated the face of an ancient man based on an X-ray and other skull characteristics. Scientists call this Roman “an unknown man”. The thing is, they couldn’t find anything that could identify his social status or say anything about his life.

6. A woman from Ancient Rome who died in Herculaneum

This young woman was one of 20 people who tried to hide from the Vesuvius eruption in the boathouse. Presumably, she came from a wealthy family.

5. A young man from the Middle Ages

This man lived during the Middle Ages in Scotland. He was somewhere between 13 and 17 years old. He was presumed to have been treated in a hospital and died there. Scientists made use of forensic medical modeling to recreate the boy’s facial muscles and tissues. Then they used a computer program to recreate his facial features.

4. Richard III, King of England

The King of England and the last of the Plantagenets lived in the second half of the 15th century. In Shakespeare’s play, Richard III was portrayed as an appallingly cruel and cunning person. However, scientists still argue about his personality — it’s really hard to find the truth in the palace’s intrigues and tangles of the past. The king’s remains were discovered in a parking lot several years ago. Based on this data and the examination of the king’s skull, scientists created this plastic model of his face.

3. Henry IV, King of France

The king of Huguenots, Henry IV lived circa 1553-1610 and is known as the founder of the Royal Dynasty of Bourbon. King Henry cared about his people and the country and was called “Good King Henry”. The king was murdered at the age of 57 by a fanatic. Based on his skeletal material, scientists created quite an accurate computer model of Henry IV’s appearance.

2. Johann Sebastian Bach

Eminent composer Johann Sebastian Bach lived and created his works in both the 17th and 18th centuries. The German master composer left behind more than 1,000 unique musical works. The collection of his works combines almost all genres of his time, except for opera. Scientists recreated his appearance based on the structure of his skull.

1. Maximilien Robespierre

Maximilien Robespierre was a true conductor of ideas during the Reign of Terror. Paradoxically, he was taken to the guillotine by his former followers. Scientists created a 3D reconstruction of Robespierre’s face based on his death mask. The result turned out to be just as contradictory as the perceived image of the famous revolutionary.

Which of the facial reconstructions above surprised you most? Share your opinion in the comments.


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it bothers me how everyone in this article aside from King Tutankhamun (who was in no way at the time the most famous person in Egyptian history and is only known from after his tomb was found by European explorers) is white...like that ain't what my ancestors looked like lol


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