This Is (Possibly) What 5,500-Year-Old Man Looked Like

This handsome-looking chap doesn't look a day over 40—but in fact he's 5,500 years old. This is a startlingly life-like reconstruction of a prehistoric skull buried near the UK's Stonehenge which is 5,500 years old.

Brought to life by Swedish sculptor Oscar Nilsson, the remains of the body are a rare example of the Neolithic people, and the body in fact pre-dates the construction of Stonehenge by some 500 years. New Scientist describes how it was done:

Nilsson used a vinyl copy of the skull... as a base for his clay reconstruction of muscles, guided by markers denoting the fleshiness of the face. He created moulded silicon skin and added pigment before punching in the hair.

Ridges on the skull reveal that this man was muscular – which is not surprising given the Neolithic lifestyle. He had highly masculine features, such as a well-defined chin and jawbone. "I had to give him a beard – there were no razors then," says Nilsson.

You can watch a video of the reconstruction in progress below. And, if you're lucky enough to find yourself in the new Stonehenge visitor center, you can even see him in the (fake) flesh. [New Scientist]

Image by English Heritage