Face of medieval man reconstructed from 600-year-old skeleton

22 October 2019, 15:06 | Updated: 22 October 2019, 15:48

The face of a medieval man has been reconstructed from skeletal remains buried more than 600 years ago.

The bones - found during the redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery in 2015 - were used in conjunction with facial reconstruction technology to help experts paint a picture of what life was like in the Middle Ages.

The result of their work has been dubbed Skeleton 125, or SK 125, who is thought to have been at least 46 years old, between 5ft 2in and 5ft 5in in height, and suffered from extensive dental and joint disease.

Researchers at AOC Archaeology Group said evidence suggests the man was not local to Aberdeen, but may have spent his childhood in the northwest Highlands or Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland.

His remains date back to the time of the old Blackfriars Dominican Friary, which is believed to have been founded at some point between 1222AD and 1249AD.

The discovery caused the redevelopment of the gallery, which itself is more than 130 years old, to be suspended.

Dr Paula Milburn, from the archaeology group, said: "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.

"The ongoing 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."

Dozens of other full skeletons were also found at the site, but have not been reconstructed like SK 125.

After a four-year wait, Aberdeen Art Gallery is due to reopen on Saturday 2 November.

Work to transform the venue cost £36.4m - its biggest investment since it opened in 1885 - and includes improvements to the buildings, new galleries and a new exhibition.

VisitScotland expects it to attract around 250,000 visitors annually.