Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Skull Club Band

Science is a wonderful thing. It truly is. Thanks to someone who spent a lot of time with calipers and what amounted to the erasers off the end of pencils, it’s possible to put the flesh back onto a naked skull with a reasonable amount of accuracy.

This technique has helped identify victims of crime in real life and on television. CSI used to have a woman come in and painstaking recreate the faces of victims with almost 100% accuracy, for example.

The technique has also been used to put skin on the bones of long dead figures. When Richard III was found in a car park, for example, his face was recreated so that we could see that, actually, he looked exactly like he did in many of the paintings. Some could argue that was a colossal waste of time, but it made for good television. And the woman who loved Richard III more than anything nearly exploded in excitement when she saw him. Again, just to reiterate, he looked exactly like the portraits of him. Which is what you’d expect. Given that the portraits were painted while he was there. But that just adds flesh to the bone, so to speak, of the theory behind the whole facial reconstruction thing.

Meanwhile, more recently a museum in Otago (New Zealand, apparently – thank you Google) have unveiled the face of a 2400-year old mummy that they’ve spent a dog’s age reconstructing following a shed-load (scientific term denoting a lot) of scans and precise measurements.

The revealed face belonged to a woman who had lived to the ripe old age of 50 and was in poor health when she died. They knew this from earlier scans, not from reconstructing her face. I mean, bearing in mind that this is the face she will have had at death, she doesn’t look that under-the-weather.

But that’s just one theory.

Do you remember all the bunkum around Paul McCartney being dead because he wasn’t wearing shoes on that album cover. I think I have more evidence that the theory may be true. Except he had been dead for around about 2400 years, probably before shoes were even invented…


Science doesn’t lie, folks.

(Unless you’re a Creationist.)