KU Leuven archaeologists help reconstruct faces of two ancient residents of Turkish city
Share article:
Share article:

KU Leuven archaeologists help reconstruct faces of two ancient residents of Turkish city

© Belga
© Belga

Archaeologists from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) in collaboration with the Turkish University of Burdur have reconstituted the faces of a man and woman from Sagalassos, an ancient city in southwest Turkey. The two humans lived in the early 3rd Century AD and between the 11th and 13th Centuries AD respectively.

Sagalassos is one of the best conserved antique sites in Turkey. Founded in the 5th Century BC, it was completely abandoned in the 11th Century AD, following earthquakes, invasions and epidemics of the plague. Since 1990, archaeological digs have been carried out at the site under the leadership of a KU Leuven team.

The reconstitution of the two faces is part of an effort to build a better picture of daily life at Sagalassos at its height, Professor Jeroen Poblome, current head of the research project, explained to the press on presenting the result of its work on Monday.

The man, a Roman, baptised Rhodon, was apparently about 50 years old at the time of his death and belonged to the middle class. The fractures and joint disorders found on his body point to a rough life. The woman, Eirene, of Byzantine origin, was 30 to 50 years old at death. She suffered less from joint disorders and was buried in a more austere fashion than Rhodon, who was found surrounded by funereal gifts.

To redo their faces, a team from the University of Burdur first did a 3D-scan of the skulls. It was able to deduce their features with 75% accuracy. For their skin, eye and hair colour, the researchers based their representation on the dominant characteristics of the area’s current inhabitants. Historical sources were used to come up with the hair and beard styles.

The two faces will be on display at the KU Leuven Library until 25 June, after which they will return home for a major exposition on Sagalassos, to be held in Istanbul this autumn, then at the Museum of Burdur.


The Brussels Times

Latest news

Non-vaccinated applicants no longer welcome at ZNA hospitals in Antwerp
The Antwerp hospital group ZNA is only taking on new employees who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to reporting from VRT. ...
Pharmacies prepare to administer more rapid antigen tests
From November, anyone presenting coronavirus symptoms for less than six days will be able to take a rapid antigen test in a pharmacy, announced the ...
Chocolate, Christmas, and cocaine
Do you consider yourself a news buff? Someone constantly on top of what's going on? Then maybe you have what it takes to ace The Brussels Times ...
Introduction of Covid Safe Ticket leads more in Brussels to get vaccinated
The introduction of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) in the Brussels-Capital Region on 15 October seems to have led to a higher number of residents ...
More and more testimonies, and a second rally against sexual violence in Brussels
A second rally against sexual violence was held in the Brussels neighbourhood of Ixelles on Thursday evening, and a sister-rally was held ...
Over 1,000 Covid-19 hospitalisations for first time since early June
The number of patients hospitalised in Belgium as a result of the coronavirus has again exceeded 1,000, climbing to 1,032, according to figures ...
Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...