Face to Face with the Past: Reconstructing a Teenage Boy from Early Dilmun

Since 2008, the Dilmun Bioarchaeology Project has analyzed the human skeletal remains and artifacts that Peter B. Cornwall excavated from Bahrain in the 1940s, now held in the Hearst Museum of Anthropology. One mode of interpretation and dissemination pursued by the DBP team is forensic facial reconstruction. The subject of the first reconstruction is a twelve- to fifteen-year-old male who lived during the Early Dilmun period (ca. 2050–1800 .). The resulting sculpture incorporates skeletal data about his identity and health as well as visual cues grounded in archaeological and sociohistorical contexts. It will be one of two reconstructions at the center of a traveling museum exhibition beginning in 2013. The goal of the exhibition is to present members of past societies to the interested public in a tangible fashion that encourages empathy and an appreciation of our shared humanity.