Stunning 3D sculptures reveal faces of a ‘Peruvian Queen’, the founder of Stockholm and a woman with a NAIL driven through her skull

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FACES of long-dead humans have been reconstructed and revealed by a genius sculptor from Sweden.

Oscar Nilsson spends around 200 hours on his creations, and has modelled our ancient ancestors – some of whom date back 40,000 years.

Estrid Sigfastsdotter was a rich and powerful Viking woman from 11th century Sweden. Her long family history was recorded on several runestones found in the Uppland region
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
The Granhammar man is a Bronze Age man’s corpse found in a ditch excavation near Stockholm, and who lived during the 8th Century BC. He is believed to have died after the left part of his face was cut off by a sharp object
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
Oscar Nilsson spends hundreds of hours on his creations
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features

First, Nilsson creates digital scans of skulls uncovered by archaeologists.

This precisely maps every minute detail of the skull so that they can be reproduced later.

Next, Nilsson uses a hi-tech 3D printer to rebuild the skull perfectly, which then acts as a base for the sculpture.

Using his extensive knowledge of anatomy, Nilsson lays on muscles and skin to reproduce what a deceased person would’ve looked like.

Sir WInston Churchill was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, and helped lead Britain to victory during World War II
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
This is the face of a Mesolithic teenage girl who lived and died around 9,000 years ago. She was buried in a cave in central Greece, and named Avgi, which means Dawn in Greek
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
This is a reconstruction of a man who lived in Västerås during the 16th century
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
Birger Jarl was the ruler of Sweden during the mid-13th century. He famously founded the Swedish capital of Stockholm around 1250, and led the Second Swedish Crusade, which established Swedish rule in Finland
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
The Patcham woman lived around 210AD during the Roman rule of Britain. She was 5ft 2incs tall, aged between 25 and 35 when she died, and was buried with a nail embedded into the back of her skull. She was impaled either just before or just after death, to stop her corpse rising from the grave – a superstitious fear at the time
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
This is the face of the Huarmey Wari Queen, based on her 1,200 year old remains. She was found in Peru, and was believed to have been a noblewoman, buried in a private chamber surrounded by jewellery and a ceremonial axe. It took Nilsson 220 hours to sculpt this model
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features

He can then add the final human touches like hair and eye colour, as well as clothing.

His world-famous works include a stunning recreation of the Patcham Woman, who lived around 210AD – during the Roman rule of Britain.

Her body was 5-foot and two inches tall, and she was potentially aged just 25 when she was died.

She was famously buried with a nail driven into the back of her skull, impaled either just before or just after death.

This process was designed to stop her corpse rising from the grave, which was a superstitious fear at the time.

Another iconic work is Nilsson’s recreation of the Huarmey Wari Queen, who died around 1,200 years ago.

This noblewoman was found buried in a private chamber in Peru, surrounded by jewellery, gold, a silver goblet and a ceremonial axe.

Nilsson’s model took 220 hours to sculpt, and is believed to be a highly accurate portrayal of the “Queen”.

The beginning of a reconstruction of the face of a man from the Swiss town of Solothurn
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
The man lived in Solothurn during the 8th Century
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
Nilsson adds details slowly and methodically to make sure the model is accurate
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
Models are based on real historical evidence – typically in the form of actual skulls
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
Creating each work is a forensic effort
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
The sculpted form is created before hair and colours are applied
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
This is the finished sculpture of the Solothurn man
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features

The “oldest” sculpture is the depiction of a Cro-Magnon man, based on 40,000-year-old remains found in France.

Cro-Magnon comes from the name of the Cro-Magnon rock shelter in Southwestern France.

This particular site is where the first early European modern human was found.

Nilsson also recreated the Stafford Road Man in exceptional detail.

The Stafford Road Man is believed to have been one of the first Anglo Saxon settlers in Brighton, and lived around 500AD.

Another sculpture of Estrid Sigfastsdotter, but this time as a young girl
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
The Stafford Road Man is thought to have been one of the first Anglo Saxons to settle in Brighton, and lived in around 500AD
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
The long braided hair of the Stafford Road Man
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
This reconstruction shows the Whitehawk Woman, who lived in the Stone Age around 5,000 years ago. She was found near Brighton with an infant in her arms, and may have died during childbirth. She was also very small, measuring just 4ft 9in in height
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
A depiction of a Cro-Magnon man, based on findings from France that date back around 40,000 years. The name comes from the fact that the first early European modern human was found in the Cro-Magnon rock shelter in southwestern France
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
The Ditchling Road Man was found in Sussex, and dates back to between 2,287BC and 2,215BC. He was aged 25 to 35 when he died, and was 1.71 metres tall. It’s not clear how he died, but it’s clear that he had previously suffered serious malnutrition, and was probably pail and sickly
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features
This is a reconstruction of a Neanderthal woman who lived and died around 45,000 years ago, based on findings from Gibraltar
Mediadrumimages / Oscar Nilsson / Universal Features

“I hope people get a feeling of ‘I know this guy’,” Nilsson said.

“It is the most effective way to make history relevant, especially to the younger generations.

“Most often when people see my work they say ‘I know him/her’ or ‘she looks exactly like my aunt’.

“Our brains try to identify the face and, if the face is this realistic, the brain process becomes highly active. People also always try to interpret the emotional status from the face.” he added.


In related news, a 3D model of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti’s face sparked a race row.

Tutankhamun’s “cursed” golden sarcophagus has been pictured outside the boy king’s tomb for the first time ever.

And from headless vikings to ‘screaming’ mummies, here are some of the most gruesome ancient corpses ever found.

Which head sculpture do you think is the most impressive? Let us know in the comments!


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