I always have to be reminded that Leprosy was present even in northern Europe in the past. Poor woman.


EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND—The Scotsman reports that forensic artists Lucrezia Rodella and Karen Fleming have recreated the faces of a middle-aged man and a woman whose remains were uncovered during excavations in the 1980s at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh's Old Town. Construction on the cathedral began in 1124. Rodella said the man, who lived about 900 years ago, was about five feet tall and between the ages of 35 and 45 at the time of his death. His cranium and most of his teeth were intact, but his lower jaw was missing, making it difficult to determine the shape of his face. “In order to hide the jaw line, I decided to add a beard,” Rodella said. The woman, who was also between 35 and 40 when she died in the mid-fifteenth or sixteenth century, is thought to have suffered from leprosy. "She would have contracted this during adulthood and the signs of lesions under the right eye may have led to the loss of sight in that eye," said Fleming. Her burial inside the cathedral suggests that she was an individual of high status, possibly a businesswoman.