Skull and Reconstruction of Richard III
One of the biggest stories across the news over the last few weeks has been that of Richard III, one of England's most notorious monarchs whose two-year reign between 1483 and 1485 has been subject to stories, myth and legend ever since.
The last of the Plantagenet dynasty, Richard III died at the Battle of Bosworth Field and his remains buried in a church in Leicester. Over time the church, friary and grave of King Richard were lost (how, I don't know) to the annals of time.
To cut a very long story short, the monarch's remains were located under a car park (or parking lot if you're on that side of the Atlantic) and the excavation of the site commenced. With much digging and scraping the skeleton of what may or may not have been Richard III was discovered.
Using DNA sampling with known descendants the skeleton was proven to be that of the late king. Huzzah! Then the really interesting work began!
Using CT scanning a digital 3D model was created so that a digital reconstruction could be undertaken. Using Geomagic's Freeform software Professor Caroline Wilkinson — Professor of Craniofacial Identification at the University of Dundee — was able to start reconstructing the face of the lost king.
Using various 'anatomical standards' — tell-tale features that are common to all skeletons — Professor Wilkinson was able to model the virtual clay in the same way that physical clay is used, building up layers of 'muscle' to form the shape of the face.
Further to the amazing reconstruction work as physical model was made with the help of some 3D printing, but more on that later...
UK residents can see the Channel 4 documentary 'Richard III: The king in the car park' via 4OD
Those in the US may be able to see edited highlights of the reconstruction an edited version here