This Is What Richard III Looked Like Before Being Buried Beneath a Car Park

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Yesterday, archaeologists confirmed that they has discovered the remains of English King Richard III beneath a parking lot. Now, based on medical scans of his skull, a team of experts has created a facial reconstruction of the deceased monarch and it's... terrifying?

The reconstruction was produced using a variety of techniques. At its core lies data from anatomical assessment using CT scans, but the flesh itself relied on some degree of interpretation, which involved close inspection of portraits of Richard III. When experts were in agreement that their digital model was accurate, it was printed using stereolithography — an additive form of 3D printing.

This Is What Richard III Looked Like Before Being Buried Beneath a Parking Lot

When printed, the model was made to look more realistic by adding texture, colour and a wig. Janice Aitken, who painted the 3D replica, explains:

"My part in the process was purely interpretive rather than scientific. Guided by Professor Wilkinson's expertise, I drew on my experience in portrait painting, using a combination of historical and contemporary references to create a finished surface texture."

The result is certainly... striking. Experts seem to agree that the face seems calmer, more thoughtful and generally less tyrannical than other depictions of Richard III. For what it's worth, here at Giz we think it resembles a certain character from a film called Shrek. [Daily Mail]

Image by Getty and Dreamworks

This Is What Richard III Looked Like Before Being Buried Beneath a Parking Lot