Facial reconstruction of a female buried with Grand Prince of Kievan Rus’

Polish researchers produced a facial reconstruction of a female skull that belonged to an individual buried within a crypt of Yaroslav I the Wise, Grand Prince of Kievan Rus’. The woman is believed to be the second wife of the ruler, Ingegerd Olofsdotter of Sweden.

Artistic reconstruction (by Mirosław Kuźma)

The sarcophagus containing the remains of the ruler and a female buried with him, kept in the Saint Sophia Cathedral, was first opened by Soviet scholars in 1938. Upon its re-opening in 2009  advanced examination analysis of the skeletons were conducted, involving CT scanning, anthropological, radiological and isotope analysis. This data served as basis for the facial reconstruction created by polish experts from the Medical University in Poznań.

3D model of the skull with markers (by Michał Rylik, Dorota Lorkiewicz-Muszyńska)
3D model of the skull with markers (by Michał Rylik, Dorota Lorkiewicz-Muszyńska)

The analysis revealed that the female died at around the age of 50. Her skull indicates Nordic, North-European facial features, indicating identification with Ingegerd, daughter of Swedish king Olaf. The woman was about 170 tall and had strong bones. Basing on all the gathered data, the facial reconstruction was created applying commonly used techniques in forensic medicine. These methods are normally used to determine the identity of bodies and skeletal remains.

Digital reconstruction (by Dorota Lorkiewicz-Muszyńska)
Digital reconstruction (by Dorota Lorkiewicz-Muszyńska)

The process of reconstruction consisted of analysis of acquired data, additional anthropological and radiological measurements. A 3D model of the skull was created with use of computed tomography scans on which eyes and anthropometric markers indicating soft tissue thickness were placed. This served as basis for the digital reconstruction combining both artistic recreation and digital texturization and colourization.

Final digital reconstruction (by Dorota Lorkiewicz-Muszyńska, Mirosław Kuźma)
Final digital reconstruction (by Dorota Lorkiewicz-Muszyńska, Mirosław Kuźma)

The research was conducted for a Ukrainian TV documentary series titled “Ukraine. Restoring its history” (Україна. Повернення своєї історії) that premiered last week.

(after Nauka w Polsce, Dorota Lorkiewicz-Muszyńska, Mirosław Kuźma, Michał Rylik)

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