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Buxom Wench
05-18-2010, 08:43 AM
Saw this and thought it was interesting.

He may look like a neighbourhood ned, but this is the face of a 700-year-old nobleman (http://www.scotsman.com/news/He-may-look-like-a.6300539.jp)


Published Date: 18 May 2010
By BRIAN FERGUSON
WHEN a battle-scarred skeleton was discovered buried beneath one of the nation's most strategically important castles, archaeologists could only guess at the nature of his life and death.
http://i39.tinypic.com/30mwhvr.jpg
A reconstruction from a skeleton found at Stirling Castle has revealed the face a soldier thought to be an English medieval knight. Picture: Complimentary
Now, a decade on, a reconstructed face with decidedly thuggish features points to the possible identity of a medieval knight, whose remains were discovered at Stirling Castle.

But there is a drawback for patriotic Scots intrigued by the riddle of Stirling Castle's unknown soldier it turns out he was almost certainly a leading light in the English army.

Painstaking research has revealed that, not only was the knight likely to have come from the south of England, but he was almost certainly at the centre of efforts to repel sieges of the castle when Scots were trying to reclaim it in the 14th century.

Forensic experts, archaeologists and historians have joined forces on a project that has unearthed a likely name for the warrior Sir John De Stricheley after records showed an English knight of that name died in the castle in October 1341. The remains were found with nine other skeletons under a paved floor in a lost royal chapel in 1997, but their identities were shrouded in mystery until recently, when new scientific tests were carried out.

A BBC TV documentary, to be shown on Thursday, will lift the lid on how researchers were able to analyse the knight's geographical background, build, injuries and even diet. Analysis of his skeleton has revealed that the man, in his twenties, was about 5ft 7in and "very strong and fit, with the physique of a professional rugby player".

Although he suffered several serious wounds including an arrowhead lodged in his chest and a blow to the head from a sword or axe it is not known how the knight died.

Richard Strachan, senior archaeologist at Historic Scotland, said: "We know that the head wound had healed, so that wasn't what killed him.

"The research has moved on so much from 1997 so that it allowed us to narrow the time the skeleton dated from to between 1290 and 1340. This was a period when the castle was changing hands between the Scots and the English, so we didn't know whether the knight was Scottish, French or English."

Natalie Humphreys, at Shine TV, which produces the show History Cold Cases for the BBC, said: "You are able to rule certain parts of the country in or out through various scientific techniques. We knew the rough time the skeleton dated from and our research found out there had actually been an English knight buried at the castle in 1341, the year before the Scots seized it.

"No-one can be sure it's definitely him, but it seems there is a pretty good chance."

Detailed work is set to get under way on the remaining nine skeletons. Evidence even suggests one female skeleton may also have been a warrior who met a grisly fate. She has several neat, square holes punched through her head by some form of weapon.

Dr Jo Buckberry, a biological anthropologist at Bradford University, who also took part in the research, said: "We can now tell much more from skeletons about where people came from, their lifestyles and causes of death. This group is highly unusual, because of where and when the people were buried, suggesting that they might have been socially important and have died during extreme events such as sieges."

Stirling Man is being shown as part of History Cold Case on 20 May at 9pm on BBC 2.

How archaeologists fleshed out the bones of castle mystery

IT HAS taken experts more than 13 years to unravel the mystery of the battle-scarred warrior secretly buried inside one of Scotland's best-known landmarks.

Archaeologists stumbled across his remains in 1997 when they were uncovered during preparatory work on a restoration of the 16th-century Royal Palace at Stirling Castle.

One initial theory was that the bones may have belonged to a priest in whose arms King James IV wept as he made his confession about plotting his father's death in 1488.

The body had been given a Christian burial, with the feet carefully laid out to the east to await the resurrection. The bones were found under flagstones in an extension once used as kitchens by the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

However, further digging work carried out later that year unearthed another nine skeletons, two of them babies, and the remains what was thought to be a second, secret royal chapel inside the castle.

It is thought highly unlikely any burials would have been carried out in a building not consecrated for worship.

However, only limited information was gleaned at the time and historians could only guess that the remains were about 500 years old. Last year, it emerged that new analytical techniques had dated the skeleton to the 14th century and that it was almost certainly the remains of a medieval knight.

They also revealed he had previously survived both an axe wound to the forehead and a large arrowhead being embedded in his chest.

An exhibition about the skeletons will have pride of place when the restored Royal Palace, widely recognised as the finest Renaissance building in Scotland, opens to the public next summer.

The 6th Rogue
05-18-2010, 10:26 AM
Very cool. Could they have made him look more dopey and simpleminded though?

Buxom Wench
05-18-2010, 11:01 AM
Very cool. Could they have made him look more dopey and simpleminded though?
It's the lack of hair (preferrably long) and maybe a bit of facial hair that could completely change his entire look.


Just sayin'.

Phoenix McHeit
05-18-2010, 11:03 AM
I find this kind of forensics absolutely fascinating! I'm constantly amazed at the ability to reconstruct facial features and such from just a skull. It's uncanny how close the resemblance can get to the real deal. This is an incredible find!



But - just as an aside - aren't we supposed to only post the link and a small excerpt from the article, not the whole thing? Isn't that like plagiarism or something?

Buxom Wench
05-18-2010, 11:15 AM
But - just as an aside - aren't we supposed to only post the link and a small excerpt from the article, not the whole thing? Isn't that like plagiarism or something?

The title in the article is the actual link to www.scotsman.com (http://www.scotsman.com) and I made sure to have the reporter's credits shown as well.

Phoenix McHeit
05-18-2010, 11:18 AM
The title in the article is the actual link to www.scotsman.com (http://www.scotsman.com) and I made sure to have the reporter's credits shown as well.

Good for you - but that wasn't my question.

ShadowHawke
05-18-2010, 11:22 AM
The 6th Rogue:
Very cool. Could they have made him look more dopey and simpleminded though?



More??? I don't know... :thinking: Think they did a fine job already. Maybe it's the eyes... they look off somehow. :wink: You know .... wonkie???

- ShadowHawke -

Torra
05-18-2010, 11:52 AM
But - just as an aside - aren't we supposed to only post the link and a small excerpt from the article, not the whole thing? Isn't that like plagiarism or something?

We could claim fair use under the US copyright code section 107, which among other things "contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:


The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
The nature of the copyrighted work
The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work"


From here (http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html).

Of course, it's not a guarantee that we'd be free and clear but seeing as how it was made freely available and widely distributed the risk is very minimal.

The 6th Rogue
05-18-2010, 12:15 PM
It just depends on who hires the better lawyer but really the spirit of the law was followed in that the author was given full credit and no one claimed his work as their own. This seems more like direct distribution for use by a wider audience.

Phoenix McHeit
05-18-2010, 12:34 PM
Cool. Thanks for the clarifications, folks! I don't feel comfortable brushing thisclose to a law but that's me. Risk vs Reward ain't enough. YMMV.

webmistress
05-18-2010, 12:47 PM
Cool. Thanks for the clarifications, folks! I don't feel comfortable brushing thisclose to a law but that's me. Risk vs Reward ain't enough. YMMV.

It's not really skating that close to anything. People post full articles on forums all the time, and lawyers don't bother to pursue them, because they know that it's a fruitless case. At absolute worst, *I* would receive a cease and desist letter (not you), at which point I would decide how to handle it. If this were an unmoderated forum, that would be different, as I could claim I'm not responsible for what's posted here. But it is a moderated forum, so I am. And anyway, LimeWire just lost a big ruling that tried to claim that they weren't responsible for what their users were downloading and sharing. Copyright law is funny that way - but ultimately, no lawyer is actually going to sue over something like that, and they would always send a cease and desist first. They'd send me a letter asking us to take it down, that's all.

You guys are fine.

Phoenix McHeit
05-18-2010, 12:59 PM
And that would be why I asked. Thanks!