A walk around the Trimontium Museum in Melrose will bring you face to face with a historic whodunit.
Staring across almost 2,000 years in time is the face of a man, thought to be a roman soldier, who came to a sticky end at Trimontium.
The victim of a drunken brawl? Maybe someone who ran up one to many gambling debts or who crossed a fellow soldier over an affair of the heart? We will never know.
One thing we do know, however, was that our mystery man was found at the bottom of a well and experts concluded that he died under suspicious circumstances because his skeleton was found almost erect with a spearhead by his side.
Some 150 years after the discovery was made the Trimontium Trust decided to bring him ‘back to life’ by reconstructing his face.
The idea came from Trust chairman Dr John Reid who said: “I suggested we ask the advice of Dr Ian Macleod of the Edinburgh Dental Institute who helped reconstruct the face of Robert Bruce.”
A CT scan of the skull was carried out at the Borders General Hospital and from there the journey of reconstruction travelled to the University of Cardiff in Wales before ‘flesh was put on the bones’ by Dr Caroline Wilkinson at the University of Manchester.
Spare a thought, then, for the man who came to serve Rome’s cause in Scotland little knowing he would still be resident there 2,000 years later.
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