Forensic facial reconstruction and recognition have been able to identify several unknown humans remains when other techniques fail. One such recent experiment helped researchers to analyse and visualise what two Czech rulers might have looked like.According to Czech news outlet iROZHLAS report, researchers have used modern technology to recreate faces of Czech royals who died more than a thousand years ago. The Czech-Brazilian research group used radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis to identify the remains of Duke Spytihnev I and his brother, Vratislav, who died within a few years of each other in the 10th century.
The team included archaeologists Jiri Sindelar and Jan Frolik, 3-D technician Cicero Andre da Costa Moraes and photographer Martin Frouz. They scanned the dukes’ skulls with photogrammetry, a technique that captures objects’ measurements in minute detail. They then included information about their diet, health and other characteristics to render their three-dimensional likenesses.
Using these techniques, they produced digital results of each of the duke that showed them sporting blue eyes and reddish-brown hair. Most of these details were determined through DNA analysis. The technique used by the team is fast and accurate and it is virtually contactless, thus preserving the remains from further degradation.Archaeologist Sindelar told Radio Prague International, “We got a very detailed and quite accurate image of each individual’s skull in this way."While talking about the process, he added, “It is no longer any problem to perform a digital scientific reconstruction of the face."
Further, the scanned images of such skulls became a virtual 3D model, to which their Brazilian colleague Moraes added muscle structure and other defining characteristics, to reveal the ancient faces. The forensic facial reconstruction expert explained that he never knows in advance whose skull he has been entrusted with and it is crucial for him to work in ‘blindness’.
In recent times, the team worked with similar technologies to reproduce possible faces of other Czech royals and the patron saint of families, Zdislava of Lembark, among others. For their next project, at the behest of the team, they will work to reconstruct the face of Saint Ludmilla of Bohemia. The project is to honour the 1100-year martyrdom anniversary of the saint.Keywords: