Scientists Recreate a Druid Woman's Head Based on Her Toothless Skull

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Scientists Recreate a Druid Woman's Head Based on Her Toothless Skull

 

In 1833, the Phrenological Society of Edinburgh presented six skulls of the “druids of the Hebrides.” The druids are believed to have served as the “great thinkers” during their time, like philosophers, judges, teachers, and even as mediators between humans and gods. The earliest mention of the druids dates back to 2,400 years ago when they lived in places that are now the United Kingdom and France. They slowly died out as Christianity spread about 1,200 years ago.

 

Photo Credit: Live Science

 

One of the skulls that was presented was from a druid woman named Hilda, one of the oldest known druids in Scotland. According to an article by Live Science, a science news website that features groundbreaking developments in science, space, technology, health, the environment, our culture and history, her remains were found at Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, off the northern coast of Scotland. Since then, Hilda’s toothless skull has stayed at The University of Edinburgh's Anatomical Museum. It was discovered through anatomical research that Hilda managed to reach the age of 60, which was considered an impressive feat during that time. This is because most women from that region and time lived only until their early 30s. 

 

Photo Credit: Live Science

 

However, there is not enough evidence to determine when she lived. In a statement, Karen Fleming, a forensic art and facial identification master's student at the University of Dundee in Scotland, said, "It’s impossible to know for sure when she died, as we were unable to carbon date the skull. But assuming the information in the journal from 1833 is correct, Hilda passed away anytime between 55 B.C. to 400 A.D. and was of Celtic origin.” Recently, researchers recreated Hilda’s face using wax, showing her gnarled wrinkles and an intense stare. 

 

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

 

According to the researchers, creating a 3D wax head of Hilda was challenging due to the weather. During the process, the summer's heatwave in Europe nearly melted it before her features were completely finished. "Hilda was a fascinating character to recreate. A female’s life expectancy at this time was roughly 31 years, but it is now thought that living longer during the Iron Age is indicative of a privileged background,” Fleming said.

 

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