September 18, 2008

The face of Dante Alighieri

Journal of Archaeological Science doi:10.1016/j.jas.2008.09.006


Stefano Benazzi et al.


This paper describes the multi-disciplinary approach to reconstruct the face of Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). Since the Dante’s sepulchre will be opened in 2021, the reconstructive process is based on morphological and metric data collected on the poet’s cranium during the formal identification of his remains in 1921 by the anthropologist Fabio Frassetto, as well as on the resulting plaster model. Starting from this plaster model and a morphologically compatible reference mandible, since the original mandible was never found, a 3D digital model of the complete skull was obtained by reverse engineering and virtual modelling techniques. The most important aspect in this work was the method of virtual modelling proposed for the ex novo generation of the mandible. The physical model of the skull (cranium + mandible) was then produced by means of a rapid prototyping system. This model was finally used to recreate Dante’s face via traditional facial reconstruction techniques currently used in forensic anthropology.



Charles Iliya Krempeaux said...

Some related llink...

-- Charles Iliya Krempeaux

Crimson Guard said...

Yeah, this story has been around for a bit. The completely shaven one looks alot like Dominic Chianese.

miz RAND BLOWTON said...

He don't look like no Dominant Chianese to me. He look like a skinny white guy with a bird nose,maybe an Arabic or Slavik nose.Anybody know where he got his nose from? Does he look like an Average Italian? I've never seen any Italians that look like him before.Italy has a lot of regular people living there.It was thee spot to be back in it's hayday.I think Dante looks OK,esp. for a medieval person.

Crimson Guard said...

Miz are you on medication when you type? Why wouldnt any Italians look like him,when he is afterall, Italian?! LOL

Anonymous said...

"Why wouldnt any Italians look like him,when he is afterall, Italian?! LOL"

There are plenty of modern Italians who look like him (the bottom left picture looks a bit like a mug shot of a Mafioso LOL).

His nose isn't a completely Italian phenomenon in Europe either - even a few Frenchmen, Germans & Brits have this type of nose (maybe not as pronounced as his though).

Italy was probably the worst hit region of Europe by the plague which must explain why the Renaissance took place - it would also be interesting to find out how much of the Etruscan genetic admixture Da Vinci, Michelangelo etc. had then - I imagine it would have been stronger compared to now which "may" explain Dante's beaked nose.

I suspect that the "Etruscan" genetic contribution (today it's contained within the region between the Arno & Tiber rivers which totals 5%) was much more extensive back then i.e. it must have been stronger in the middle ages, and the great plague possibly caused a significant dilution but his nose could just as easily be equally a prehistoric thing, or even more so.

Coon even remarked that these noses may have been partly derived from an Etruscan source.

I'm more inclined to think that this nose was for the most part introduced into Italy in prehistoric times.