Facial reconstruction at Norwich YAC
What is facial reconstruction?
Facial reconstruction is the process of rebuilding a person’s face, usually in clay or plasticine, over their skull. It is often used in archaeology to depict the faces of our ancestors. You may have even seen examples in your local museum or on television.
But how do the experts know from someone’s bones what they might have looked like? Although you might not think so at first, every person's skull is just as unique as their face. Some are bigger, some rounder, some longer and some thinner.
How is it done?
Experts know the average depth of a person's tissue and skin at different points on their skull. These averages vary depending on a person's age, gender, and where they are from. To create a facial reconstruction, different lengthed pegs are attached to the skull at these points. The layers of tissue are then built up to the correct depth, recreating the face!
Members of our Norwich YAC began to create their own facial reconstructions – on plastic skulls – at their meeting in January 2018. They will be finishing off their reconstructions in February... we'll share their finished faces soon!
How can I have a go?
If you want to have a go at creating your own facial reconstruction, check out this activity on the YAC website. It gives you step-by-step instructions to help you create your own reconstruction.
Do email us pictures of your facial reconstructions to firstname.lastname@example.org ... we'll send a mystery prize to anyone who sends us in a photo!
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