Ancient Peruvian Wari Queen Face Re-constructed

March 3, 2022

The Wari timeline stretched from the 7th to 12th century. A National Geographic team explored site in 2012. A team led by the University of Poland along with a Peruvian team found a passage through buried walls, Four women, including a queen and possible princesses. 54 other elite were also found.The excavations included finding a copper ceremonial ax and a silver goblet.

A forensic expert from Sweden has re-created the face of the queen who lived at the site of  El Castillo de Huarmey. They used a computed tomography (CT) scanner to make a virtual, 3D image of the skull. The data sent the digital data to a 3D printer, which made a replica of the skull in vinyl plastic. 

It’s important to know the person’s sex, age, weight and ethnicity ā€” factors that influence the thickness of facial tissue

The report in Live Science states that forensic expert Nilsson knew the Huarmey Queen was at least 60 years old. Armed with that knowledge, he put 30 plastic pegs all over the queen’s replica skull. After this, he sculpted the face. This was made from the ‘inside out,’ muscle by muscle.ā€ He used plasticine clay to sculpt the muscles, relying on methods that help forensic artists reliably rebuild a person’s eyes, nose and mouth. “The ears are more speculative,” he said.

Next, he covered the muscles with a layer of skin. “Details, wrinkles and poresare sculpted to get it [to be] realistic,” he said. “When I’m finished sculpting the face, I make a mold, in which I then cast the face in silicone. In this way, I can get it very realistic.  Nilsson used prosthetic eyes in the reconstruction, as well as real human hair that he inserted, strand by strand, into the silicon scalp. “We actually used Peruvian human hair, bought in Peru by the Polish archeological team,” he noted. He even gave the royal woman metal earrings with a golden and worn patina. “They are an exact replica of her actual earrings, found in her tomb,” he said. Nilsson spent 220 hours on the queen’s reconstruction.  She looks wise [and] experienced, as well as a bit tired and maybe sad, or thoughtful,” The technique Nilsson used to re-create the ancient queen’s likeness is also used by law-enforcement agencies when a victim cannot be identified. About 70 percent of these cases are solved once a reconstruction is made, he said. “It is not a portrait of the deceased, but you get a good image of what the face looked like.” The Wari queen’s reconstruction is now on display in a new Peruvian exhibit at the National Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw, Poland.

Live Science has the report here;