Got an ax in the face: the face of the victim of one of the most brutal battles in Europe was recreated (photo)
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A medieval warrior whose face was damaged returned to life thanks to reconstruction 660 years after his terrible death.
Experts have reconstructed the warrior's face after his skull was recovered from a mass grave near the town of Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland. It was at the walls of this city that one of the most brutal battles in medieval Europe took place in 1361, writes the Daily Mail.
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In 1361, Danish troops of about 2,500 people, many of whom were experienced mercenaries, staged a real massacre on the island of Gotland. In what would become known as the Battle of Visby, Danish warriors engaged 2,000 poorly armed peasants, at least a third of whom were underage or elderly, excavations have shown. As a result of the battle, the defenders of the island of Gotland lost approximately 1,800 people killed. For those times, these were simply horrifying numbers.
Among the dead was a warrior who was hit in the face with an ax, in as a result of which his mouth was cut, he also received blows under the left eye and on the left cheekbone, but they were inflicted with a pole weapon.
The skull of this warrior was recovered from a mass grave, and it is in the Swedish Historical Museum in Stockholm. The museum staff agreed to provide the skull of the deceased for the reconstruction of his face to the graphics expert from Brazil, Cicero Moraes. Using graphics programs, he was able to recreate the face of a dead warrior.
“During the reconstruction, I used a CT scan of this skull, as well as a CT scan of the skull of another person. Then I created a face that is most likely the most similar to that of this ancient warrior. I made different versions of the faces, both with open eyes and and closed. Most importantly, I was able to show in as much detail as possible the level of injury inflicted on this person,” says Moraes.
According to the author of the reconstruction, the skull itself cannot provide complete data on what shape were the mouth, eyes or nose. Therefore, averaged statistical data were used here.
“In any case, we got a version of the face as close as possible to reality. Most likely, this is exactly what this warrior looked like at the time of his death. Although it is not clear whether he died from an ax blow or whether it happened later. It is difficult to understand only from the skull “, says Moraes.
According to a Brazilian expert, such an injury was almost impossible to cure at the end of the 14th century. Therefore, most likely it was the blow with the ax that was fatal, although there were other injuries on the face of the victim.
As for the battle itself, after the Battle of Visby, the inhabitants of the island surrendered Danish troops to avoid further sacking of the city and more bloodshed. King Valdemar IV of Denmark received a large ransom from the inhabitants of the island and declared Gotland part of his vast possessions.
Until 1645, Denmark owned this island. But as a result of the Danish-Swedish war, which was part of a wider European conflict – the Thirty Years' War, Gotland went to Sweden. The first archaeological excavations near the city of Visby were carried out only in 1905.
Focus already wrote that scientists have recreated the face of a “vampire” who lived in the USA in the 18th century. This “vampire” turned out to be a local farmer who died of tuberculosis, but one of the locals decided to play it safe and changed the position of the corpse in the grave so that he could not rise from the dead.