A YOUNG woman who died 3,700 years ago in the north of Scotland has been “made human again”ught back to life in a facial reconstruction using her skull and other remains found at a Middle Bronze Age burial site in 1987almost 30 years ago.

She has been named nown as Ava – an abbreviation of Achavanich in Caithness, where her skull and teeth were discovered 30 years ago during an archaeological dig. Ava has been the subject of a long-term research project managed by archaeologist Maya Hoole. N and now forensic artist Hew Morrison, a graduate of the University of Dundee, has created an amazing reconstruction of her face.

Hoole set up a website dedicated to her study of the bones, A decorated beaker was buried with the woman atnd the Middle Bronze Age burial site, which lies close to the A9 between Latheron and Thurso.

Morrison, a graduate of Dundee’s Forensic Art MSc programme, specialises in creating facial reconstructions and used an anthropological formula to calculate the shape of Ava’s missing lower jaw, and also the depth of her skin.

He then rebuilt created the reconstruction by rebuilding the layers of muscle and tissue over the face.“Normally, when working on a live, unidentified person’s case, not so much detail would be given to skin tone, eye or hair colour and hair style, as none of these elements can be determined from the anatomy of the skull.

“A facial reconstruction based on archaeological remains is somewhat different in that a greater amount of artistic licensce can be used.

“I have really appreciated the chance to recreate the face of an ancient Briton. Being able to look at the faces of people from the past can give us a great opportunity to identify with our own ancient ancestors.”Ava was buried in a pit dug into solid rock and her skull is an abnormal shape which some suggest was the result of deliberate binding.

It is believed Ava was part of a much wider European group known as the Beaker people.

A specialist examination at the time of the discovery in the 1980s suggested that the skeletal remains were that of a young Caucasian woman aged 18-22.