reconstructed face of Li Huan, the fifth granddaughter of Tang Dynasty Emperor Gaozu (born as Li Yuan, 566 – 635 CE)

©People’s Daily online version in Japanese

In an attempt to reconstruct ancient facial traits, LI Kang and colleagues at Northwest University, School of Information Science and Technology, first combined carbon-14 dating and anthropological analysis of Li Huan’s skull to estimate her age at the time of burial. Using data on soft tissue thickness of females in the same age stored in a “Modern Human Facial Data Bank” they used digitized facial reconstruction technology to reconstruct the putative appearance of the princess some 1600 years ago.