Warsaw 3D firm to reconstruct face of mystery ‘princess’ found buried in log 2,000 years ago
A Polish museum is making a copy of the skeleton of an “ancient princess” using 3D technology.
The woman’s skeleton was discovered in 1898 inside a log in a cliff by the beach near Kołobrzeg, in north-western Poland.
It spent 1700 years inside a log, which explains why the bones are black.
In total, over thirty bones were found, including a skull.
Dating back to the 2nd Century, it is the city’s oldest historical relic.
Earlier research shows that the woman died around the age of 30 and was just 145 cm tall.
She was buried separately, suggesting that she may have held a privileged position in her community.
Its permanent home is the National Museum in Szczecin, the nearest big city.
It was not getting much exposure there: according to the director of the History Studio in Kołobrzeg, Robert Dziemba, it was in storage.
Museum workers in Kołobrzeg decided to make a copy of the skeleton, which they borrowed from the museum in Szczecin three years ago, but will have to give back.
Once permission had been obtained, the plan was to scan the original skeleton and then print out a copy using 3D technology.
However, this failed because the black bones were impossible to scan. Other attempts were unsuccessful, too.
“Everyone who has come here so far to make a copy has given up. No-one was able to scan it,” said Dziemba.
Now a Polish company has managed the seemingly impossible.
Based in Warsaw, WOLF 3D offers scanning, 3D printing and postprocessing, among other services.
The company is carrying out the project for free.
Scanning the skeleton took a whole day. The next step will be to prepare for 3D printing, which could take several weeks.
After a copy of the skull has been made, Dziemba hopes to send it to forensic medicine specialists, so that they can recreate what the woman looked like.
The museum in Kołobrzeg is also thinking about an animation involving her.
"We will try to reconstruct her face. We will give her a little more identity,” said Dziemba, referring to the woman as an “ancient princess”.
Now that the scan has been made, the skeleton will return to the National Museum in Szczecin at the start of October.
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