Historical characters and legendary personalities - what they looked like in reality

The restoration of the face by the skull, or the method of anthropological reconstruction of the appearance on the craniological basis, of famous (and not only) historical characters is a favorite occupation of anthropologists. Not so long ago, scientists presented to the public their vision of Tutankhamen's appearance. It is difficult to judge the extent to which the results of the reconstruction correspond to the true appearance of the heroes of the past. Sometimes even the objects of reconstruction themselves are not the ones for whom they were accepted. But to look at them is always interesting. Let's get acquainted with the already sunk into oblivion, but looking like living historical persons.


1. It is possible that this is how the famous Nefertiti looked like - the mother of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.

In 2003, Egyptologist Joanne Fletcher mummy KV35YL was identified as Nefertiti - the “main spouse” of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh XVIII of Akhenaten dynasty.At the same time was reconstructed its appearance. However, in 2010, as a result of DNA research, it turned out that the remains belong not to Nefertiti, but to the other “second half” of Akhenaton, but part-time to his sister. True, maybe she was the wife of another Pharaoh - Smenhkara. However, Egyptologists agree that the remains belong to the mother of Tutankhamen.

2. British scientists using virtual autopsy recreated the appearance of Tutankhamun - Pharaoh of the XVIII dynasty of the New Kingdom, who ruled Egypt in 1332–1323 BC.

Scientists believe that Tutankhamen suffered from genetic diseases, as well as malaria, which, perhaps, caused his early death: Pharaoh died at the age of 19. Half of the men living in Western Europe are descendants of the Egyptian pharaohs and, in particular, relatives of Tutankhamen, scientists believe. The common ancestor of the ruler of ancient Egypt and European men with the R1b1a2 haplogroup lived in the Caucasus about 9.5 thousand years ago. The carriers of the "Pharaonic" haplogroup began migrating to Europe about 7,000 years ago.

3. Apostle Paul is the largest figure in world history, one of the authors of the New Testament and one of the founders of Christianity.

St. Paul lived in 5–67 AD.Paul created numerous Christian communities in Asia Minor and the Balkan Peninsula. In 2009, for the first time in history, a scientific study of the sarcophagus, located under the altar of the Roman temple of San Paolo-fuor-le-Mur, was conducted. Fragments of bones were found in the sarcophagus, which were subjected to research using carbon-14 by experts who did not know their origin. According to the results, they belong to a person who lived between the 1st and 2nd centuries. This confirms the indisputable tradition, according to which we are talking about the remains of the Apostle Paul.

4. King Richard III, reconstructed from the remains discovered in the fall of 2012 under a parking lot in Leicester.

Richard III - the last representative of the male line Plantagenet on the English throne, reigned from 1483rd to 1485. It has recently been established that Richard III died on the battlefield, dismounting and losing his helmet. Before his death, the English king received 11 wounds, with nine hits in the head. The absence of wounds on the bones of the arms suggests that at the time of the death of the monarch was still in armor. Richard III was killed in the battle of Bosphort, fighting with the challenger to the throne - Henry Tudor (the future king Henry VII).

five.The remains of the creator of the medieval heliocentric picture of the world Nicolaus Copernicus were discovered in Frombork Cathedral (modern Poland) in 2005. In Warsaw, a computerized face reconstruction was performed at the Central Forensic Laboratory.

In 2010, the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Chemistry was given names, and in 2011, the designations of the elements were officially approved: Darmstadtia, X-rays and Copernions (or Copernicia), with numbers 110, 111 and 112, respectively. Initially, for the 112th element, Copernicium, named after Nicolaus Copernicus, was offered the symbol Cp, then it was changed to Cn.

6. In 2008, the Scottish anthropologist Caroline Wilkinson (Caroline Wilkinson) reconstructed the appearance of the great 18th century German composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

The remains of Bach were exhumed in 1894, and in 1908, sculptors first tried to recreate its appearance, guided, however, by famous portraits of the composer. Critics of the beginning of the 20th century were not satisfied with this project: they argued that the bust might as well depict, for example, Handel.

7. The face reconstruction of William Shakespeare is made with the death mask of an English poet and playwright.

The hypothesis of endless monkeys, which sooner or later will print the artwork of William Shakespeare, was tested by American programmer Jesse Anderson (Jesse Anderson). The monkey program managed to print Shakespeare's poem A Lover’s Complaint in a month. True, an attempt to test the hypothesis on live monkeys failed. In 2003, a keyboard connected to a computer was placed in a cage to six macaques in the Peyton Zoo (United Kingdom). The monkeys scored five pages of incoherent text and a month later they broke the keyboard.

8. In 2007, Italian scientists from the University of Bologna reconstructed the appearance of the great Italian poet of the 13th and 14th centuries Dante Alighieri.

Dante Alighieri, according to some scientists, could suffer from narcolepsy - a disease of the nervous system, accompanied by bouts of drowsiness and sudden sleep. These conclusions are based on the fact that Dante's Divine Comedy reproduces with great precision the symptoms of narcolepsy, as well as the accompanying cataplexy, that is, a sudden loss of muscle tone.

9. Perhaps this is what Henry IV looked like - the king of France, the leader of the Huguenots, killed by a Catholic fanatic in 1610.

In 2010, forensic scientists led by Philippe Charlier found that the remaining mummified "head of Henry IV" is genuine. On its basis in February 2013, these same scientists presented a reconstruction of the appearance of the king. Nevertheless, in October 2013, another group of geneticists questioned the authenticity of the remains of the monarch of the Bourbon dynasty.

10. In 2009, the appearance of Arsinoe IV, younger sister and victim of Queen Cleopatra was reconstructed. Arsinoe's face has been recreated by the standards taken from her skull, lost during the Second World War.

Arsinoe perished in the 41st year BC. According to the ancient Roman historian Joseph Flavius, she was executed in Ephesus by order of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, who saw in her half-sister a threat to their power.

11. The exterior of St. Nicholas was reconstructed according to the data of the Italian professor of anatomy, obtained in the 1950s during restoration at the Basilica of St. Nicholas in the city of Bari.

In Christianity, Nicholas of Myra, is revered as a miracle worker and is considered the patron saint of sailors, merchants and children.

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