Reconstructed face of Robert the Bruce is unveiled
By Ken Macdonald BBC Scotland Science Correspondent
8 December 2016
From the section Scotland
Media captionThe facial reconstruction is based on images of a skull found nearly 200 years ago
Historians have unveiled a digitally-reconstructed image of the face of Robert the Bruce almost 700 years after his death.
The image has been produced using casts from what is believed to be the skull of the famous Scottish king.
It is the culmination of a two-year research project by researchers at universities in Glasgow and Liverpool.
Until now, portraits and statues of the victor of Bannockburn have relied on artists' imaginations.
With no contemporary artworks to tell us what King Robert actually looked like, historians at the University of Glasgow teamed up with Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) to provide an accurate representation.
Its Face Lab specialises in recreating likenesses from legal and archaeological evidence - most famously, the face of the English king, Richard the Third.
Robert the Bruce is best remembered for his victory over the English army at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
Project leader Dr Martin Macgregor, a senior lecturer in Scottish history at Glasgow University, said he was arguably the most significant figure in the nation's story.
"When he took the throne in 1306 Scotland was in a parlous state," he said.
"Edward I had decreed that henceforth Scotland was to be described as a land rather than a kingdom.
"I don't think it's going too far to say that unless Bruce had succeeded in that endeavour, we might not be sitting here today talking about a Scotland."
Glasgow University's Hunterian Museum holds the 200-year old cast, made from a skull unearthed when Bruce's burial place, Dunfermline Abbey was being rebuilt.
Although they cannot be certain, historians are reasonably confident it is his skull. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-38242781