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Face of ancient Pictish man digitally reconstructed


In 1986, a long cist burial was dug up in Bridge of Tilt near Blair Atholl, where excavators discovered the skeleton of a man in his forties. Analysis at the time found the man was used to hard work, and lived around 340 to 615 AD, making this one of the earliest Pictish graves ever discovered.

Face of ancient Pictish man digitally reconstructed
The digitally re-created Pictish man [Credit: GUARD Archaeology]
Now, GUARD Archaeology in Glasgow and forensic artist Hayley Fisher have managed to digitally recreate the face of the Bridge of Tilt Pict which is now on display at Perth Museum and Art Gallery as part of their Picts and Pixels exhibition.

Bob Will, the archaeologist leading this project, said: “The actual burial was found in the 1980s and a certain amount of work was done then. But various members of the local community and groups wanted to do more, so they got in touch to take the project forward and one thing they wanted was a facial reconstruction. That is what got the ball rolling on that one.

“We then approached Historic Environment Scotland and they gave us a grant as part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 to help pay for this project, and we’ve been working on it for two years.

“The facial reconstruction is based on the skull at the time and it has helped us to identify a number of features, such as a strong brow and chin.”

The archaeologists are now looking to do further DNA analysis and isotope analysis to get more information about the Pict’s diet, and to find out where the man originally came from.

Bill continued: “We are working with archaeologists from the University of Aberdeen on isotope analysis to help us find out more about his health and where he came from - we can track where they moved about and see if he was born somewhere else. We’ll hopefully be able to start that in the next six to eight months. We’re looking forward to see what comes out of that.”

GUARD Archaeology will be back in Highland Perthshire next month, as it is working with a number of groups, including the Blair Atholl Country Life Museum, Clan Donnachaidh Society, Blair Atholl Primary School and Blair Atholl and Struan Community Council, to carry out further investigations and analysis of the burial site in Bridge of Tilt.

They will be carrying out field work from Friday, August 18 until Monday, August 21 and are inviting volunteers to join them on the day to help with their historical research, geophysical surveys and trial trenching.

Bob explained: “We will be doing a bit more geophysical survey round the site and some people have let us into their gardens to do trial trenching. Anyone is welcome to come along and meet all the people involved.

“We hope to find out a bit more about the burial site and about the people who lived there, but we will be looking to ee if there are any more burial sites in Bridge of Tilt. But, it would be great to uncover a settlement.”

Author: Rachel Clark | Source: July 15, 2017]
TANN

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