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14 Incredibly Realistic Sculptures Of People Who Lived Thousands Of Years Ago By Oscar Nilsson

Oscar Nilsson is a Swedish sculptor and archaeologist who specializes in reconstructing faces. In one of his recent projects, he used his skills to hand-sculpt the faces of a handful of people who lived hundreds, some even thousands, of years ago using their excavated bones as a reference, giving us a unique glimpse of how those people might have looked like.

Oscar opened a company called O.D. Nilssons in the mid-90s that collaborates with various museums to help restore the faces of people whose remains were discovered during archaeological excavations. The artist says the human face and all of its details never ceases to fascinate him. “And all the faces I reconstruct are unique. They are all individuals,” writes the Oscar.

Check out his amazing sculptures in the gallery below!

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#1 Huarmey Queen

Image source: Oscar Nilsson

The remains of this Wari woman, nicknamed Huarmey Queen, were discovered by Polish archeologists in the north-west of Peru back in 2012 along with 57 other noblewomen. They were all buried with lots of jewelry, gold, and expensive textiles. Archeologists examined her remains and determined that she had spent most of her time sitting, most likely weaving. This was further proven by the golden weaving tools found around her.

#2 A Young Woman Who Lived In The Stone Age About 5500 Years Ago

Image source: Oscar Nilsson

This Stone Age girl died when she was around 20-years-old. Since she was buried with a baby on her chest, the cause of death was most likely childbirth. Even though DNA was not preserved too well, there’s enough proof that the people living in Brighton (United Kingdom) at the time weren’t white and their skin color was more similar to those of North Africans.

#3 Estrid Sigfastsdotter

Image source: Oscar Nilsson

Estrid Sigfastdotter was most likely a rich woman who lived in the XI century AD near Stockholm. What is unusual is that she was around 80-years-old at the time of her death – pretty impressive when life expectancy at the time was just 35.

#4 Adelasius Elbachus

Image source: Oscar Nilsson

This young man, named Adelaziy Elbakhusom (Adelasius Ebalchus) by the researchers, lived in Switzerland in the VIII century AD. The man had beautiful teeth, which was rather unusual for the time. Sadly, judging by his skeleton, he was most likely malnourished and suffered from chronic infections.

#5 Neanderthal Woman

Image source: Oscar Nilsson

The remains of this Neanderthal woman were discovered in Gibraltar all the way back in 1848. She most likely lived about 45-50,000 years ago.

“Finally a few words on something I thought of and struggled with, as I saw this Neanderthal face take shape. How “human” should this face appear? They were not Homo Sapiens after all. I came to the conclusion that she must have a human glimpse in her eyes. As recent research show, Europeans share around 2-4 % DNA with Neanderthals. So they must have been so much alike us, otherwise, the offspring would not have been fertile,” wrote Oscar. “It is interesting to see how the image of the Neanderthals has changed over the years: from being a drooling savage to a highly-skilled competitor to us. Worth to note is also that this new image coincides with the insight that we Europeans share 2-4% DNA with the Neanderthals.”

#6 Viking

Image source: Oscar Nilsson

This Swedish Viking lived sometime around the beginning of the XI century. He died at the age of 45.

#7 Primitive Neolithic

Image source: Oscar Nilsson

This man lived about 5,500 years ago, was aged 25 to 40 years old, and, judging by the analysis of his skeleton, was of a rather slender build.

#8 This Is The Face Of A Teenager Who Lived 9,000 Years Ago

Image source: Oscar Nilsson

This 18-year-old girl, nicknamed Avgi, lived in modern-day Greece at 7000 years before Christ.

#9 A Man Who Lived In Britain In The Saxon Era

Image source: Oscar Nilsson

Judging by the bone structure, this man was most likely quite burly-built. He most likely lost a lot of teeth due to abscesses, as well as a part of his upper jaw. The traces of injuries suggest that he might have been a soldier. He died being around 45 years old.

#10 A Man Who Lived In The Iron Age In Britain

Image source: Oscar Nilsson

This Iron Age man from Britain lived about 2,400 years ago. He was well-built but, sadly, died aged between 24 and 31 years old. His hair is styled in a hairstyle the Germanic tribes called “Suebian knot”.

#11 Birger Jarl

Image source: Oscar Nilsson

Birger Jarl was the ruler of Sweden from 1248 until his death on Oct. 1, 1266, in Västergötland, Sweden.

#12 Woman Of Romano-British Descent

Image source: Oscar Nilsson

The remains of this woman suggest that she worked hard physical labor during her lifetime and died being between 25 and 35 years old.

#13 A Man Who Lived About 3,700 Years Ago In The Bronze Age

Image source: Oscar Nilsson

This malnourished and anemic man lived about 3,700 years ago and died being between 25 and 35 years old.

#14 The Medieval Middle-Aged Man From The Middle Of Sweden Is Finished

Image source: Oscar Nilsson

“Finally, the reconstruction of the medieval middle-aged man from the middle of Sweden is finished. Although now it turns out he may not be that medieval after all. C14-results indicates that he is from somewhere during the period of 1470-1630,” writes Oscar. “However, analysis of his skeleton shows that he suffered from so-called os acromiale, a defect in the bones of the shoulder with a clear connection to heavy use of longbow-shooting! So, maybe it is possible to narrow the time span to 1470-1540, as longbows gradually fell out of fashion to use during the mid 16th century.”

Continue reading 14 Incredibly Realistic Sculptures Of People Who Lived Thousands Of Years Ago By Oscar Nilsson

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Are You Crazy to Open a Brick-and-Mortar Shop?

Why would a designer decide to open a brick-and-mortar design shop selling product, given the nonstop chatter of a retail apocalypse? Is an online operation less complicated, or does e-commerce just present a different set of challenges? AD PRO asked four designers who currently have, or have had, shops of the brick-and-mortar or online variety to weigh in on their experiences, so you can make an informed decision.

“I am tactile. And I also strongly feel that design is about discovery,” designer Sarah Hamlin Hastings, owner of Fritz Porter Design Collective in Charleston, South Carolina, explains about the benefit of a brick-and-mortar versus an online-only shop. “The internet is great if you know what you are looking for. But what about the sense of discovery when perusing a quirky little antique shop or running your hands over a sumptuous new mohair or finding a woodworker who makes beautifully designed pieces in his garage workshop? That is the curated shopping experience I wanted to create.”

After moving to Charleston in 2010 only to discover a lack of nearby design resources, Hastings decided to launch her own hybrid business—a curated retail store, a textile showroom, and an interior design business—which opened in 2015. And while she felt the personal and financial risk of opening a successful brick-and-mortar store was higher than an online-only business (as far as investing in inventory, overhead costs, and dealing with slim profit margins when working with independent artisan vendors), she found great gratification in seeking out interesting pieces and being able to tell artisans’ stories and promote their craft.

Fritz Porter
Fritz Porter, Sarah Hamlin Hastings’s Charleston shop.

Julia Lynn

Similarly, interior designer Paloma Contreras, co-owner of Houston-based Paloma & Co., launched the brick-and-mortar concept store this year with business partner Devon Liedtke (the store also has a strong online component). The aim was to “showcase unique items that tell a story—whether they are antiques or found objects, original art from emerging American artists, or handmade pieces by artisans from around the globe.”

“It is really nice to be able to showcase our style and point of view without any type of filter,” Contreras says. “We don’t want to offer things that are available at a dozen stores in town or hundreds of stores online. For us, the most important thing has been finding things to offer our customers that are not only signature to our style, but also have an interesting story to tell.”

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In the same vein as Hastings and Contreras, interior designer and author Kirsten Grove of Boise, Idaho–based We Three Design Studio and design blog Simply Grove, says, “When you’re a designer, you’re a natural curator. Having a shop of your own allows you to curate items that you really do believe in and find beautiful. It’s an easy partnership when done right and in the right market.”

Devon Liedtke and Paloma Contreras
Devon Liedtke and Paloma Contreras’s Houston shop, Paloma & Co.

Kerry Kirk

However, for Grove the challenges of running her own design shop ultimately took their toll on her design business, and she folded it in 2018 after just one year in operation. “I had always wanted to own my own shop that sold furniture and home goods. It was one of those things that I had to get out of my system,” she admits. “But there were a few tricky aspects, one being that Boise is a really hard place to have a successful home retail shop. It was hard to gain regular customers who weren’t just looking for sale items.”

In general Grove sees pluses and minuses to both brick-and-mortar and online shops. “A brick-and-mortar space allows your clients and customers to see and feel things in person, while having an online shop gets rid of the unexpected overhead costs,” she explains. “But a huge drawback for an online shop is shipping costs and angry customers who have received something damaged or an incorrect order.” But she adds, “If you’re able to create a team that only focuses on your shop, it’s totally doable!”

Michelle Adams, the former Domino magazine editor who ran online shop The Maryn for two and a half years, during which time she hosted four pop-ups, found that it’s a misconception to believe that an e-commerce business doesn’t require as many overhead costs. Her expenses turned out to be too high to make her business viable.

“Opening a shop represented the ultimate creative outlet for me, as it required editing the market for the coolest products, creating a brand identity, and developing the lifestyle imagery to support it,” Adams says. However, the cost of running a design shop included expenses that one might not think of up front, including employing a full team to help with order fulfillment, the website, customer service, accounting, photography, and so on. Then there were also warehouse costs, high-interest business loan payments, press outreach, marketing fees, and insurance. Additionally, Adams curated her product selections from artisans around the globe to keep her assortment fresh and unique. “But importing comes with a lot of hidden costs that eat away profit margins,” she says. Another financial burden was her inability as a small business owner to compete with the free shipping offered by larger e-commerce sites.

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The Maryn
Product from The Maryn, Michelle Adams’s online shop, which ceased operations this spring. Adams is former editor in chief of Domino and cofounder of Lonny.

Marta X. Perez

Once the financial challenges became too great, Adams decided to close up shop. Based on what she learned, she advises, “Be realistic about what you’re comfortable spending, and absolutely stick to it. I made the mistake of thinking that investing a little more here and there would help my shop get over a hump, but in the end it only put me into debt.”

Likewise, Grove urges, “Before you do anything, run your numbers and be very honest with yourself. If you don’t create a cushion for the first three months, things can get tricky.” Yet, she adds, “An online shop can be time-sucking but worth the work. And a brick-and-mortar can become a beautiful extension of your brand.”

Read More

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