A man's face has been reconstructed, 600 years after he died in medieval Scotland.
Skeleton 125, as he has been named, was found in 2015 during work building the Aberdeen Art Gallery, Aberdeen City Council explained in a press release. Work was halted for archaeological investigations and the subsequent excavation of the site found more than 4,000 bone fragments from at least 381 individuals, as well as 60 complete skeletons.
Following post-excavation research, the AOC Archaeology Group set about reconstructing one of the skeletons – skeleton 125 – who they believe was 46 years old at the time of his death. The man would have stood between 159 and 166 centimeters tall (5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 5 inches), shorter than the average male at that late medieval time, and suffered from extensive dental disease including tooth loss, chronic abscesses, and cavities.
Like the other skeletons found at the site, the remains showed signs of a strenuous and physically active lifestyle, as well as the effects of age, including a degenerative joint disease in his middle and lower back. Amazingly, isotope data showed that he did not come from Aberdeen, perhaps growing up in the north-west Highlands or Outer Hebrides, before spending the last years of his life in the area.
“SK 125 has provided us with a first fascinating glimpse of one of the people buried on the site of Aberdeen Art Gallery over 600 years ago," Dr Paula Milburn of AOC Archaeology Group said. "The on-going post-excavation work is examining the remains in detail and will provide us with amazing information on the kind of people buried here, including their ages, gender, health, and lifestyles.”
Of the 60 full skeletons buried at the site between 1050 and 1410 recovered during excavations, 56 were adults, one was an adolescent and three were children between the ages of eight and 11. Evidence of tough lifestyles was shown in the skeletons of those who made it to adulthood.
Unfortunately, 600 years after his death, life has gotten even harder for Skeleton 125, as he has been mercilessly mocked online.