The Most Famous Historical Faces Have Been Reconstructed

King Tutankhamun, The Pharaoh of Egypt

Also known as King Tut, the Egyptian pharaoh reigned between 1334 - 1324 B.C. He only reigned for 9 to 10 years before dying at the age of 19. His tomb was discovered in in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter.

Studies have revealed that King Tut did not really look like the representations on his tomb. Inside the tomb, there was a body armor and bows, suggesting he was a fighter. He was actually young and frail! Curious about his real look?

The Reconstruction of King Tut

When he was first discovered, researchers thought that King Tut had been assassinated, and others thought it was death from natural causes. However, it was later found that at 19, the pharaoh had died of malaria, according to recent scans.

The scans also revealed he had a fractured leg and body deformities from the lengthy inbreeding, which was supposed to hold the royal bloodline pure. A lot of the depictions in murals of the pharaoh, we see him seated doing different tasks, which could mean that he couldn’t properly move.

Roman Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar

At only 17 years old, Nero was the last Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty that would rule over the empire (54-68 A.D). He wasn’t just the ruler of Rome, he was also a good singer and an Olympian. He played the lyre, love acting and writing poetry and competed in chariot races.

The depictions in the form of statues and busts reveal his choice of keeping long sideburns along with curly locks. But how did he really look? He was definitely a looker compared to Julius Caesar!

The Reconstruction of Nero

During his reign, Nero had made a lot of enemies since he killed many from his own inner circle. The Roman provinces decided to execute him but were unsuccessful. He took his own life, but before that he said: “What an artist dies in me!”

In 2019, Spanish artists collected all of the artwork done for him and created this unsettling image that would probably explain us why the whole empire hated him since he became the Emperor. Let’s turn towards a more recent time and check out this US personality before we head back to Europe.

England’s Queen Elizabeth I

The Queen of England from 1559-1603, Elizabeth I took a long time to actually become a queen for 45 years! Her father had six wives and only one male heir. Unfortunately, all her older siblings had died and she became a queen. She never got to marry, which is why she was known as “The Virgin Queen.”

The daughter of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VII, Elizabeth was even thought to be an illegitimate child since her father executed her mother. But with trusted advisors, she was able to secure the throne in 1558. Since then, she’s been depicted in many paintings, but what’s more striking is the 2018 unique representation…

The Reconstruction of the Queen

Art under The Virgin Queen bloomed, the Spanish Armada was defeated and it was then when William Shakespeare flourished! Talking about the famous writer, we’ve got him on the list as well. Thanks to artist Mat Collishaw, 3D printing and many scans, we got to see the Queen’s face in an unsettling manner.

Queen Elizabeth's features were used to create an animatronic that can blink! Sure, it is a bit creepy with all those wires and no hair, but look at the masterpiece! She looks a bit like my great-grandma… Wait until you see King Richard III in the next photos!

Roman Emperor Julius Caesar

One of the most famous rulers of an ancient empire, Julius Caesar, was a Roman general and military genius. He was the first to invade Britain. Of course, being popular in his time, he had many busts depicting him.

Anthropologist Maja d’Hollosy, scanned his bust in the image we have on the left and was able to get a depiction of his real looks. We have got to say he was not a handsome man!

The Reconstruction of Julius Caesar

The bust that got scanned to render this strange model sits in the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (Netherlands). It certainly make Caesor look a lot less regal than his marble bust. It’s safe to say those representations of him wearing a crown of laurels helped hide the huge forehead.

Add those small features on such a large face and you’ve got an ugly but still famous Caesar. He was lucky good looks didn’t count back then… What about Nero? Was he handsome or not? Let’s take a look at him in the following photos.

Egyptian Queen Nefertiti

Since Egyptian stories are always filled with mystery, we’ll stick to this part of the history and talk a little about the most beautiful queen in the world: the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, who reigned from 1353-1336 B.C together with her husband, and after his death.

The records about Nefertiti show he was a famous and powerful queen. When archaeologists discovered her statue, they realized she was a very beautiful woman. However, the CT scan of the bust show a different story!

The Reconstruction of Queen Nefertiti

The previous photo you have seen didn’t actually reveal the true side of Queen Nefertiti. Under the bust, there was a carved in limestone of the queen, revealed by the CT. She actually had a bump on her nose.

Moreover, another digital scan of her skull revealed that this is how the queen should have looked. Also, considering she was the mother of six children, she had a few more worn face at her age. Now let's see another famous Egyptian Queen...

Egyptian Queen Cleopatra

You cannot mention Rome or Caesar without talking about Cleopatra! The beautiful charming woman from Egypt has remained in history as being the one who seduced not only Julius Caesar, but also Mark Antony.

But as we noticed with Nefertiti, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Was Cleopatra as beautiful as she was seen back in the ancient times? The most accurate bust we saw with her was sculpted in 40-30 B.C. and revealed rather masculine features…

The Reconstruction of Queen Cleopatra

Not only was Cleopatra a beautiful woman, but she also spoke several languages and was very intelligent, which may be why she seduced important men like Julius Caesar and the Roman politician and general Mark Antony.

Researchers and experts were able to discover how she looked like and 3D artists were created this image that reveals the prominent nose and such defined features. It’s safe to say she was intelligent and not extremely beautiful as we’ve seen her depicted in movies.

The First US President: George Washington

George Washington became the first US president in 1789 and stepped down in 1797 while the people still loved him. He limited the rule to two terms and he will forever be known as the fearless man that led a whole nation, helping it grow.

One of the Founding Fathers, George Washington’s face has been seen all over the US to commemorate his legacy. From paintings of him in government buildings to his face on the dollar bill, we know his face all too well. But here’s how the Commander in Chief really looked like!

Reconstructing George Washington

The portrait we saw in the previous image was saved by First Lady Dolley Madison in 1814 when the White House blew up in flames after the British came. Scientists used the portrait to reconstruct George Washington’s face.

The rendering was created by New Jersey Medical school researchers and we’ve got to say it is pretty accurate. The portrait was brought to life up to the point where even his five o’ clock shadow is present! Now heading back to Europe, we’ve got to see the unsettling Queen Elizabeth I reconstruction…

England’s King Richard III

Another ruler of England, the last one of his dynasty and only ruling for two years, King Richard III was portrayed by Shakespeare as being a tyrannical ruler. Thankfully, the Tudors defeated him in 1485 during the battle of Bosworth Field.

The only depictions of Richard III are after he died, but his remains were found by scientists! You won’t believe how charming he actually was!

The Reconstruction of King Richard III

King Richard III lost the throne and his life on the field as he led the cavalry against Henry Tudor. His remains were found buried under a parking lot.

Using the scans of his skull and the depictions and historical records, he are now able to see the pretty face of a tyrannical king!

English Playwright William Shakespeare

The most famous English playwright William Shakespeare lived between 1564 and 1616, leaving behind a magnificent work, as well as expressions we now use without knowing they were his invention - such as “night owl” or “full circle.”

This representation is one among many, but for a better accuracy, scientists used the death mask discovered by Professor Hildegard Hammerschmidt-Hummel in 1775. How did the master of literary arts really look like?

The Reconstruction of Shakespeare

Dr. Caroline Wilkinson from Dundee University was able to scan the interior of the death mask in 2012 and got a detailed 3D image of the artist.

Even though we cannot see the full head in the rendering, his solemn face is striking. Knowing how the most important man from the English literature looked like over 400 years ago is quite an achievement!

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland

The Queen of Scotland, Mary Stuart or Mary, Queen of Scots ruled Scotland from 1542 to 1567. She became a queen after her father died when she was only six days old!

Nonetheless, she grew up in the French court and went back to Scotland in 1559. It was the same artist that created Shakespeare’s 3D image who also reconstructed the Queen’s face…

The Reconstruction of the Queen of Scots

This time, Caroline Wilkinson didn’t have a death mask to scan like she did for Shakespeare, so she collected all the depictions available with Mary Stuart to create these images.

Considering most of the time’s artwork was very stylized, it was tough to create something that would feel real. We think she did a great job! Now onto an iconic face: Jesus Christ!

Scotland’s Robert I

Also known as Robert the Bruce, this man was backed by the Scots back in 1324 who wrote a letter to Pope John XXII and said he was the rightful monarch and not Edward II.

The Pope recognized Robert I was the King of Scotland and he reigned for nearly 20 years (from 1306 to 1329) - even before being recognized as the rightful heir to the throne (and five years after that).

Reconstructing Robert The Bruce

Although there are very little depictions of Robert The Bruce, researchers at the University of Glasgow discovered a skull believed to have been his.

Face Lab technology revealed this next portrait. Finally, we get to look at the last historical figure that takes us back to the French Revolution.

French Revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre

A known figure in the French Revolution, and the man that helped establish the First French Republic in 1792 before Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were executed, Maximilien Robespierre was a lawyer and then a deputy of the National Convention.

Over two centuries later, we finally get to see his real face and we have to say we wasn’t handsome… His painters saw him more regal than he looked…

Reconstructing Robespierre

Forensic pathologist Philippe Charlier and facial reconstruction specialist Philippe Froesch revealed this portrait that shows how Robespierre really looked like.

Robespierre was decapitated in 1794 and the death mask was kept on his face. Charlier and Froesch had used the death mask which was made by Madame Tussaud.

Neanderthal Woman

The remains of a Neanderthal woman were found in a cave in Gibraltar. It was estimated that she died 30,000 years ago.

She was probably one of the last Neanderthals in Europe. This is what she would have looked like.

Whitehawk Woman

Whitehawk Camp was an enclosure discovered in Brighton, England, where remains from the Neolithic era were found. Among them was this woman.

Her face was digitally reconstructed to show how she would have looked like 5,000 years ago. Her body was found with an infant in her arms, suggesting she and the child had died in childbirth.

Jane Of Jamestown

The remains of a fourteen-year-old English girl were found at the site of the Jamestown settlement in 2012. Archaeologists named her Jane.

It is believed that, during a particularly harsh winter, she was eaten by her co-settlers, who were starving. This is what she would've looked like.

Neolithic Man

This is the reconstruction of an early Neolithic man. To put it into perspective, he was born 500 years before Stonehenge was built.

His skeletal remains were found in 1863 in Wiltshire, England. We gotta say, he had an amazing beard!

Cro-Magnon Man

The Cro-Magnon were a group that succeeded the Neanderthals. They were some of the earliest Homo Sapiens and lived around 30,000 years ago.

This Cro-Magnon man shows us what people looked like back then. As you can see, the Cro-Magnon looked very similar to what humans look like today.

Alexander The Great

Alexander the Great truly deserved his name. Although he was only king for barely 13 years, he changed the course of history forever.

The greatest military general of all time was known to have heretochromia, a condition characterized by having different-colored eyes. He also had golden, curly hair.

Jane Austen

Jane Austen was one of the most popular authors in the Georgian era. She wrote novels such as Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.

She was said to have been a great beauty, and this reconstruction proves it. She was also known for being one of the most stylish women of her time.

Jesus Christ

We all know who Jesus Christ was, no matter what are our beliefs. He was the man that walked on water and performed miracles, the son of God who suffered for our sins and rose from the dead on the third day.

Jesus Christ's image was constructed from people’s imagination, or stories, until we ended up with representations like the one above. However, he looked far different than we would have ever imagined!

The Reconstruction of Jesus

Considering only a few renditions of Jesus Christ are around and the Bible only says very little of how he looked like, it’s tough to say they’re the real deal. However, researchers from the UK and Israel were able to create this image.

Remember that there is no skeleton to dig up and scan… We can all agree this face is quite different from what we thought Jesus would look.

Anne Boleyn

The story of Anne Boleyn is a tragic one. She was the second wife of King Henry VIII, but was executed after being queen of England for a few years.

Although she was executed on charges of incest, witchcraft, and more, it is said that the real reason was that she had been unable to provide the king with a male heir.

Louis XV

Louis XV had the second-longest reign in French history, having been King for 59 years. Although he was known as Louis the Beloved, it is believed that the people of France didn't like him all that much.

He was also known as France's Playboy King because he was very popular with the ladies. Judging by this reconstruction, he wouldn't be very popular with them nowadays.

Catherine Parr

Catherine Parr was King Henry VIII's sixth and last wife. She was also the queen with the most husbands in history, after being married four times.

She was also a writer and became the first woman to publish work under her own name instead of a man's name.

Augustus Caesar

Augustus was the first Emperor of Rome, and was known for bringing peace to his subjects.

In fact, he is known as one of the most effective leaders in human history, and thanks to his work, Rome experienced peace for almost two centuries.


Caligula was only Emperor of Rome for three years and yet, he managed to build an awful reputation for himself during that short period of time.

He has been described as an insane tyrant who enjoyed all kinds of perversion. However, it is believed that the stories about him have been greatly exaggerated.

The Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world. We all have seen this woman's face and yet, there's little known about her.

This mysterious woman is believed to have been Lisa del Giocondo, an Italian noblewoman from Florence. This was unknown for centuries, until her identity was confirmed in 2005.


Napoleon was one of the most prominent military generals during the French Revolution. He later became Emperor of France and conquered large parts of Europe.

He has been unfairly described as 'short', but this has turned out to be a myth. He was of average height for his time, as people used to be much shorter than they are nowadays.

Beachy Head Lady

The Beachy Head Lady was found in Beachy Head, East Sussex, England. Archaeologists initially thought she was a third-century European Roman, until they took a closer look.

Her social status could not be determined, but it was revealed that she was a sub Saharan African living in the area.

The Medieval Maiden

A Medieval burial ground in Edinburgh was studied by a group of archaeologists, who managed to reconstruct the faces of many of the people who were buried there.

This maiden was found amongst several other women and children in a communal grave, which means that they all died of some infectious disease and were all buried together.

Medieval Knight

This guy looks like any man you'd find at your local bar. However, he was a Medieval Knight whose body was found in a chapel at Stirling Castle in Scotland.

Experts have concluded that he was a fit nobleman with the physique of a rugby player. He was probably trained since he was a boy and knew how to handle all kinds of weapons. He died during the Anglo-Scottish wars.

The Mary Rose Archer

The Mary Rose was King Henry VIII's flagship, which sank around 500 years ago. Many people drowned that day, including this unnamed archer.

But, how did they know that this body, which had been underwater for centuries, belonged to an archer? Well, because the joints in his shoulder were injured from using a longbow so much.

Robert Burns

Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist who lived in the 16th century. This reconstruction was done after forensic scientists made a 3-d scan of his skull.

Although his jaw was missing, they were able to reconstruct it using orthodontic techniques and his portraits. This reconstruction revealed that, surprisingly, his head and eyes were bigger than average.

Henry IV Of France

King Henry IV of France was known as Good King Henry because he was known to care for the welfare of his subjects. Sadly, he wasn't loved by all his people.

He was assassinated by a fanatical Catholic in 1610. His skull was used for this 3-d reconstruction and, we have to say, it looks exactly like his portrait.


It's hard to believe that this is not a picture of a real, live person, but it's just a reconstruction of Ava, a Bronze-Age woman who died 3,700 years ago.

At the time, people would be buried in soil, but Ava was found in a grave carved in solid rock, which suggests that she was special. Sadly, we'll never know why!

Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus was one of the most brilliant scientists in the Renaissance. He is best known for discovering that the Sun was the center of the universe and not Earth.

He lived a very long life for his time and died at 70 years old. His remains and his portraits allowed for his face to be reconstructed. Doesn't he look like a very ordinary man you'd see on the street?

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was one of the greatest composers of his time. Born in Germany during the Baroque period, Bach quickly made a name for himself thanks to his talent.

To achieve this reconstruction, scientists took measurements of his skull and looked at his portraits. He really looks the same in both!

Anthony Of Padua

Anthony of Padua was a Catholic priest born in 1195. He left his wealthy family in Portugal to become a friar of the Franciscan Order.

He died when he was only 35 years old, and he was one of the most quickly canonized saints in church history because he was so beloved. This reconstruction was made from a digital copy of his skull.