After years of work by historians and archaeologists, Saudi Arabia has unveiled the reconstructed face of a Nabataean woman who lived more than 2000 years ago.
The reconstruction is the first-of-its-kind and is modelled over the remains of a Nabataean woman, Hinat, who was discovered in a 2,000-year-old tomb in Hegra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in AlUla, an ancient oasis city in northwestern Saudi Arabia, CNN reported.
The face was put on display at the Hegra Welcome Center in AlUla on Monday. The reconstruction of Hinat began in the UK in 2019 after it was funded by the Royal Commission. The face was made from silicon, with pierced ears and artificial hair individually threaded into her scalp.
A team of experts rebuilt bone fragments found in the tomb to reconstruct an image of her appearance using ancient data. A 3D printer was then used to sculpt the face of the woman, the report added.
The Nabataeans were part of an ancient civilisation that inhabited northern Arabia over 2,000 years ago. Petra was the capital of their kingdom, which became a trading hub for spices, medicine and fabric, the report added.
Lebanese-French archaeologist Laila Nehme, the director of the project in an interview to National Geographic said, “The Nabataeans are a bit of a mystery: We know a lot, but at the same time we know very little because they didn’t leave any literary texts or records.”
“Excavating this tomb was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about their idea of the afterlife”, she added.
“It tells us Hegra wasn’t just a place of tombs, but a vibrant place where people lived and worked and died. It’s lovely to be reminded”, Leila Chapman, a representative from the Royal Commission for AlUla told The National.