Myself and forensic artist Viviana Conti have been working to reconstruct the faces of archaeological remains uncovered during the excavations of the medieval graveyard in Leith, dating back to the 14th & 17th Century, as part of the Edinburgh Tram Project. We used Artec 3D scanners to digitise the skulls discovered during excavations outside South Leith Parish Church.

We have digitised, analysed and reconstructed multiple reconstructions, however, currently only a handful have been released to the public - watch this space for more faces from our shared past!

The reconstruction featured above is of a male, aged between 35-50 years-at-death. This individual's skull was fairly fragmented which resulted in many pieces that needed to be placed back together in a 3D jigsaw-esque way! The individual also have some of their long bones digitised due to interesting pathologies on the bone.

After digitising the remains, Freeform and a haptic arm was used to sculpt the facial anatomy on top of the skull. Tissue depth marks were used as a guide during this process. The facial features, such as the nose, were estimated by reading the skeletal features and employing various calculative techniques. The texture, meaning the hair, colouring and wrinkles, were added via Photoshop.

To the left is a #deepnostalgia animation of SK012, where the image is manipulated to generate movement and bringing this medieval individual to life!

A big THANK YOU to the University of Dundee, Edinburgh City Council Archaeology Service and GUARD Archaeology for this wonderful opportunity.


For more information click on the links below:

Lynn Quote.PNG

More faces from this project coming soon!