Online Journal of Anthropology

facial reconstruction


British anthropologist Professor Caroline Wilkinson had South African audiences at the edges of their seats with her fascinating work in facial reconstruction.


Wilkinson, a professor from Liverpool John Moores University, visited South Africa as a guest of the School of Anatomical Sciences at Wits University, with support from a National Research Foundation grant, to present various events, including a workshop for members of the South African Police Service.


While known for her expertise in forensic identification, Wilkinson is equally renowned for her contributions to archaeological investigations. Arguably her most famous case was her creation of a reconstruction of King Richard III’s head.




With a background in art and science and her research of art-science fusion, Wilkinson was appointed Director of the School of Art & Design at Liverpool John Moores University in October 2014. Her knowledge is diverse and extends to forensic art, human anatomy, medical art, face recognition, forensic science, anthropology, 3D visualisation, digital art and craniofacial identification.


She combines the latest medical and digital-imaging techniques to recreate faces from the past. Aside from King Richard III, her other famous facial reconstructions include Mary Queen of Scots (Queen of Scotland), Rameses II (ancient Egyptian), St Nicholas (historic 4th-century Christian saint) and Robert Burns (Scottish poet and lyricist).

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