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Lindow Man: what did he look like?

Lindow Man

It is hard to imagine what Lindow Man looked like the day he died around 2000 years ago. His head and face were crushed in the peat bog and his skin and hair turned a different colour by the peat.

However, in 1985, Richard Neave, of the University of Manchester, the well-known expert in the reconstruction of ancient faces, made a reconstruction of what Lindow man might have looked like shortly before his death.

Neave used all the available evidence. X-rays from different angles allowed him to work out the original size and shape of his skull. He then made a life-size model of the skull. Following the shape of the skull and using a good knowledge of human anatomy the muscles and skin were reconstructed using the well-preserved details of his face and hair.

Lindow Man's head was quite large with prominent brow ridges, though his jaw is smaller than average. His nose was straight with rather flared nostrils. His ears were smallish, and had no ear lobes. There is no evidence that his face was scarred or blemished in any way. However, his forehead was highly creased in life. The surviving hair on the head is short and the bead and moustache were well trimmed. We know his hair was originally dark brown in colour. The only educated guesses that had to be made were the colour of his eyes and skin. Richard Neave gave him blue-grey eyes as experts felt this was a likely colour. His skin is the colour of a typical north European who spent a long time outdoors.