Unbelievable 3D Sculptures Show How Historical Figures Actually Looked!
It is one thing to read about a famous historical figure, such as King Tut. It is another thing entirely to see an ancient historical figure brought to life thanks to 3D technology. Today, we are going to take you on a tour through the Uncanny Valley in order to see something amazing. Thanks to 3D printing based on CGI and CT scans, we now have an accurate view of what some of the most famous historical figures actually looked like! Are you ready to see history come to life? Let’s begin!
Meet King Tut
King Tutankhamun is likely one of the most famous pharaohs that Egypt has ever had. King Tut ruled as pharaoh from 1334 to 1324 B.C. Above, you can see the famous image of King Tut’s tomb. Tut’s tomb was discovered in 1922 but continued archaeological efforts have unveiled even more of his fascinating history — and physical identity.
Here we see a 3D image of King Tut. Scientists and prominent researchers conducted over 2,000 digital scans in order to render this image of King Tut. Along with their digital interfacing, researchers utilized genetic testing in order to find out exactly how King Tut looked. You can see all of the detail that they put into their work, including Tut’s overbite.
Unique in his Power
While King Tut has long been considered one of the most powerful pharaohs in known history, the truth is that he struggled in life. King Tut took over his father’s throne when he was just 9-years-old. Tut ruled for a full decade before dying at the age of 19. Historical research revealed that Tut died of malaria and that he was riddled with health issues. Tut had a broken lower leg as well as deformities due to inbreeding.
A Frail Leader
Tut battled malaria all of his life and he was routinely depicted as feeble. In fact, King Tut is the only pharaoh to ever be depicted in a seated position while shooting a bow. It’s pretty clear that Tut suffered far more than anyone had previously realized. It must have been hard ruling Egypt as a deformed 9-year-old.
Meet Emperor Nero
Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar is one of the most prominent psychopaths to ever be recorded in our history. Emperor Nero ruled over Rome from 54 A.D. to 68 A.D. Here we see a lifelike bust of Nero, replete with what appears to be a mullet and a chinstrap beard. We have a feeling that he’d be a dedicated gamer in today’s age.
A Hated Man
Emperor Nero was one of the most loathed rulers in Roman history. In fact, Nero’s notoriety is so well known that it may be impossible to separate fact from fiction. Nero’s real history has worked as a foundation for countless villains in fictional pop-culture history. One of Nero’s most notable dastardly moments came when Rome was literally burning to the ground. Nero sung poetry from the roof of his palace rather than order assistance.
Bring the Fire
It is rumored that Emperor Nero started the fire that burned much of Rome, though that is hard to prove. What we do know, for sure, is that he believed in vengeance to the Nth degree. Nero went on a rampage, killing many people in his own inner circle before eventually taking his own life. We have a feeling that he was a little unstable.
Meet Queen Nefertiti
Queen Nefertiti ruled alongside her husband, Pharaoh Akhenaten. Queen Nefertiti gained historical relevance due to the fact that she was not depicted, nor did she act, as a powerless companion to her husband. Instead, Nefertiti established herself as a powerful member of Egyptian society as well as a beautiful one. She was instrumental in establishing the Cult of Aten in order to praise the sun god.
A Beautiful Woman Has Come
Here we see an incredible 3D image of what Queen Nefertiti likely looked like. This image was derived from numerous CT scans in order to render the powerful queen into reality. Her name roughly translates to the phrase, ‘A Beautiful Woman Has Come’. Was her nickname predictive of who she would become? We think so.
At a time when childbirth was not safe, Nefertiti still managed to mother six children. One of these children would go on to become the mother of King Tut, showcased above. It’s pretty clear from just this family line that Egyptian royalty had a very real inbreeding problem.
Meet Robert the Bruce
Robert the Bruce ascended to the throne in 1306. Bruce would go on to have a storied life, reigning for almost 25 years. Throughout his life, Robert the Bruce would partake in some of the most important battles in Scotland’s history, including the 1314 battle of Bannockburn.
A King’s Countenance
Historians decided to bring Robert the Bruce to life in conjunction with the Face Lab specialists located at the University of Liverpool. It took two years for the researchers to lock in this image of Robert the Bruce. They had to research where the muscles were located on his face and they had to guess what color his eyes were.
Marked with Disease
Though the prior image showed Robert the Bruce with a clear complexion, it does not exactly mesh with reality. Researchers discovered that when Robert the Bruce died in 1329, he was afflicted with leprosy. This awful disease would have rendered his skin into the blotchy mess that you see above.
Meet the Iconic Cleopatra
Cleopatra is such a famous historical figure that it has become increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction. Cleopatra reigned as co-regent for 30 years over the Kingdom of Egypt. She was thought highly of for her intelligence and she was described as one of the greatest beauties in the world. The fact that two powerful men would fight over her only supports the idea of her great beauty. The marble bust above was likely created around 40 B.C.
An Artist’s Depiction
Here we see a more realistic version of how the Macedonian Queen Cleopatra may have looked. This piece was put together by M.A. Ludwig. Ludwig portrayed Cleopatra with masculine features, sharp eyes, and a strong nose.
Full Facial Reconstruction
In this image, we can see a facial reconstruction of Cleopatra that is based on 3D modeling. With her good looks and brilliant mind, it is no wonder that Cleopatra ended up leaving behind quite the reputation. Nowadays, Cleopatra has gained almost mythical status thanks to the many stories, film adaptations, and pop-culture references over the years.
Meet Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar is one of the most famous rulers in the history of the world. Caesar was known for his sharp military mind, his affinity for politics, and his role in the eventual demise of the Roman Republic. Shrouded in mythos, it is always stunning to see the actual man behind the mantle. Let’s take a look at what Julius Caesar might actually have looked like.
A Larger Head
We’re sorry if this 3D image breaks any illusions that you may have had regarding Caesar. Here we see Caesar depicted with a large head, a receding hairline, and a small mouth. This image is largely based on the bust of Caesar located at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in the Netherlands.
We are all familiar with how Julius Caesar’s story ended, but what a life he had to get to that point. Caesar ended up dead on the Senate floor during the Ides of March back in 44 B.C. His death followed an affair with Cleopatra, who we’ve already been introduced to today. If you have to die on the Senate floor, we supposed it wouldn’t be terrible to have had an affair with Cleopatra first.
Meet Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Elizabeth I ruled over England from 1559 to 1603. Elizabeth was fortunate to end up on the throne, rather than in an early grave after her brother and sister both died. Her father had gone through six wives in search of a male heir. Elizabeth was fortunate to take the throne, not that this diminishes her exploits.
A Successful Ruler
In the grand scheme of things, Queen Elizabeth I had a very successful time on the throne. She worked hard to settle disputes with the Catholic Church before going on to dole out defeat to the Spanish Armada. Queen Elizabeth I was in charge of an England that was flourishing in the creative world.
History Come to Life
In this image, you can really appreciate how much detail researchers put into recreating Elizabeth. This is an animatronic reconstruction of Queen Elizabeth I that blinks and can move its face. This animatronic was based on a portrait located inside of the Queen’s House. We are drifting steadily closer to the uncanny valley, aren’t we?
Meet William Shakespeare
A discussion on William Shakespeare, done in earnest, could take months. We’ll boil him down for you, though. William Shakespeare was a prominent playwright in England from 1564 to 1616. During that time, Shakespeare became a linguistic pioneer as he crafted words and phrases that are still used today. This is one of the most iconic images of Shakespeare ever recorded.
A 3D Playwright
While much of Shakespeare’s backstory is shrouded in misinformation and rumor, researchers were still able to recreate an image of his face. Dr. Caroline Wilkinson was the force behind this 3D recreation. Based out of Dundee University, Dr. Wilkinson relied on 3D imaging in order to craft what an older Shakespeare would have looked like.
Capturing an Artist
Here we see a full layout of the 3D imaging that Dr. Caroline Wilkinson was responsible for crafting. This older image of Shakespeare showcases age spots, wrinkles, warts, and, of course, his iconic facial hair. Can you imagine being in the stands for one of his famous plays?
Meet George Washington
Could George Washington be the most famous person in history? We think so. George Washington led the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War. He would also go on to serve as the first ever President of the United States. This former British soldier had an iconic image from the outset, so we were overjoyed to see his face recreated in 3D.
Face of the First President
In many situations, reality falls short of historical interpretation. However, this 3D reconstruction seems to nail George Washington’s quiet nobility. This image was created by a team of researchers at New Jersey Medical School, located in Newark. His piercing blue eyes are as distinguishable as his traditional hair and sharp jawline.
Meet Mary Queen of Scots
Mary Stuart was Queen of Scotland from 1542 to 1567. Mary lost her father shortly after birth and she was pushed into the role of Queen at the age of six — days old. Mary grew up in France before returning to Scotland in 1559. Recreating the famous Mary, Queen of Scots was a tough task that Professor Wilkinson took great care to get correct.
Deeply Detailed Imagery
Dr. Wilkinson did extensive research in order to get all of Queen Mary’s facial features correct. Wilkson pulled from biographical sources to get finite details perfected. Here we can see an older Queen Mary after having assumed the throne. Queen Mary didn’t have a great life, unfortunately. She was imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth I and eventually beheaded for plotting against her.
Mary Stuart’s incredible life has been the subject of numerous film and book adaptations over the years. Here we see a recent film revolving around Mary. If you are fascinated by the former child Queen, definitely give this film a look.
Meet Richard III
Richard III ruled over England as king for a whopping two years, from 1483 to 1485. History has not been kind to Richard’s memory and he has routinely been portrayed as a tyrant and a dictator. Richard III is probably most well known for being adapted into Shakespeare’s play of the same name.
A Full View
Getting an accurate recreation of King Richard II was considered impossible until 2012. Why? Richard’s body had been lost to history after his death. In 2012, researchers followed a series of historical clues to an underground parking garage. Beneath that garage, Richard III’s body would be recovered. Here we see the young tyrant in all of his glory.
Finding the Remains
The story of Richard III’s bodily recovery feels like it was ripped from a ‘National Treasure’ movie. Rest assured, however, that these are the actual remains of the tyrant king. His body was reburied after a celebratory service was carried out. The goal of the service, held at Leicester Cathedral, was done in the name of giving the former monarch some funerary dignity.
Meet Jesus Christ
Now we are stepping into territory that could ruffle some feathers. The subject of Jesus Christ’s appearance has been debated almost as fiercely as his existence. Above, you’ll see a portrait that was done during the Middle Ages — long after the crucifixion of Christ. Though this image has been popularized through history, the reality is far different.
Man in the Shroud of Turin
Here we see a 3D recreation of the man found inside of the Shroud of Turin. The Shroud of Turin was discovered in 1354 and it featured the crucifixion of Christ. The blood on the linen cloth was attributed to the wounds that Jesus endured during his death. The image above, depicting whoever was wrapped within the Shroud of Turin, was released in 2001. It remains heavily debated even today.
A Debate for All of Time
Whether you believe that the Shroud of Turin held the body of Jesus Christ will likely sway you regarding this 3D interpretation. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that we will ever get a clear answer on this subject.
Meritamun was a noblewoman from ancient Egypt. While it is impossible to exactly date her existence, historians place her at anywhere from 18 to 25 years old in this depiction. Researchers unfortunately only had access to her skull which meant that they had no way to verify how her body looked while she was alive.
Using only her skull, researchers were able to create this 3D image. Meritamun suffered from oral decay when she died, so they presented her with her mouth closed. It took 140 hours and countless CT scans in order to render this 3D image.
Meet Saint Anthony
Born in 1195, Saint Anthony was raised in Lisbon, Portugal. He was 36-years-old when he died but he made quite the name for himself before doing so. Saint Anthony was renown for his sermons and ability to treat and heal the sick. Saint Anthony is beloved by the Catholic Church and he is considered to be one of the quickest people to be sainted after his death. According to the Catholic Church, Saint Anthony is the Saint of Lost Things.
A Humble Saint
Saint Anthony passed away in 1231. It is rumored that bells rang on their own and child wept when he passed away. All that was found of his remains were a jawbone and a tongue, both of which are currently on display. Saint Anthony allegedly died of ergotism. Ergotism is caused by long-term ingestion of alkaloids produced by a fungus found in rye.