Mystery of what Kamień Pomorski witch looked like could soon be solved with help of 3D skull

Researchers at the Medical University in Szczecin say that by using the latest technology, they can reconstruct the face of the mysterious skeleton the remains of which were found in 2014. Marcin Bielecki/PAP

The skull of a 17th century witch is to be recreated using a 3D printer - establishing once and for all what she may have looked like.

Researchers at the Medical University in Szczecin say that by using the latest technology, they can reconstruct the face of the mysterious skeleton the remains of which were found in 2014.

 The 3D model will have applied layers of plastic material that correspond to layers of soft tissues.Marcin Bielecki/PAP

It is thought the woman was probably the victim of a witch trial.

Head of the university’s Forensic Genetics Unit, Andrzej Ossowski, said:

"This is a very interesting addition to the research about the skeleton.

“There is a lot of interest in how this person looked.”

Initially thought to be a man buried in a vampire pit, researchers discovered the remains actually belonged to a woman who was probably accused of being a witch. Marcin Bielecki/PAP

He added: "We intend to perform two reconstructions - one virtual, using the 3D modeling programme, and the other by using the Gierasimov method used in forensic medicine and anthropology.

“The three-dimensional model will have applied layers of plastic material that correspond to layers of soft tissues.”

Women accused of witchcraft were often tortured into confessing guilt before being killed.Public domain

The skeletal remains were discovered in Kamień Pomorski in 2014 and initially archeologists thought they belonged to a dark-haired, 160cm tall man aged between 45-55.

The remains were considered an "anti-vampiric burial” as a piece of brick had been placed in the mouth, and the femur and tibia bones were pierced - it was suspected that these were foot-pegs that according to folk lore were to stop the deceased person from returning from the grave.

Scientists determined that the Witch of Kamień Pomorski had probably been tortured whilst still alive.Marcin Bielecki/PAP

But following genetic, anthropological and forensic examinations as well as three-dimensional scans and computed tomography of the entire skeleton, scientists from the Szczecin Medical University discovered the skeleton actually belonged to a woman.

The also determined that she was probably around 65-years-old, closer to 170cm tall and had blue eyes and blonde hair.

Head of the university’s Forensic Genetics Unit, Andrzej Ossowski, said: "This is a very interesting addition to the research about the skeleton. There is a lot of interest in how this person looked.” Marcin Bielecki/PAP

And they calculated she had probably been tortured whilst still alive having been accused of witchcraft, with the brick in her mouth protecting the population against black magic from beyond the grave.

Speculation about what her face looked like has abounded ever since.

The scientists say they plan to present the face in a few months.