A researcher from the University of Dundee has recreated the head of one of Scotland’s oldest druids.
Nicknamed Hilda, the female druid could have been more than 60 years old when she died during the Iron Age.
“Hilda, although thousands of years old, displays many physical attributes that remain recognizable today,” said Karen Fleming, an MSc Forensic Art & Facial Identification student at the University of Dundee.
The woman is thought to have lived near Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis — the northern part of Lewis and Harris, the largest island of the Outer Hebrides archipelago.
“Hilda was a fascinating character to recreate,” Fleming said.
“It’s clear from the skull she was toothless before she died, which isn’t too surprising considering the diet of folk back then but it was impressive how long she lived.”
“A female’s life expectancy at this time was roughly 31 years but it is now thought that living longer during the Iron Age is indicative of a privileged background.”
Hilda was recreated from an ancient skull held at the University of Edinburgh’s Anatomical Museum and is described as one of six ‘Druids of the Hebrides’ skulls presented to the Phrenological Society of Edinburgh in 1833.
“It’s impossible to know for sure when she died as we were unable to carbon date the skull, but assuming the information in the journal from 1833 is correct, Hilda passed away anytime between 55 BCE to 400 CE and was of Celtic origin,” Fleming said.
“I think she looks like many older women I’ve met in my life and I’m proud of that.”
Source link: https://www.sci.news/archaeology/hilda-female-druid-07511.html