shíshálh Nation | Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada

Faces of 4,000-year-old indigenous family come to life in new exhibit

 Faces of 4,000-year-old indigenous family come to life in new exhibit
Date Posted: 2017-05-11
Author: CTVNews.ca Staff
Source: CTV News

The Canadian Museum of History is preparing to open a unique exhibit that weaves together ancient remains with modern-day technology to bring the faces of a 4,000-year-old indigenous family to life.

The exhibit features a 3D digital reconstruction of the faces of an ancient family from the shíshálh Nation, whose remains were found in a burial site near what is now Sechelt, B.C.

Archeologists from the Museum of History and the University of Toronto helped excavate the burial site over several years, unearthing the 4,000-year-old remains of five people: a man around the age of 50; a female in her late teens or early 20s; male twins in their early 20s; and one infant whose gender couldn’t be determined.

They had been buried with hundreds of thousands of stone and shell beads that may have decorated a long-gone article of clothing, suggesting the family had “tremendous wealth and power,” the museum said. The museum noted the site was one of the most significant chiefly burial finds in North America.

Over the course of three years, the museum collaborated with the shíshálh Nation and a forensic CGI studio to produce scientifically accurate reconstructions of each of the faces, including their hair, jewellery, facial expressions and clothing.

The results will be unveiled to the public July 1 in the museum’s newly built Canadian History Hall. The new hall traces Canada’s history from the dawn of human life in the country to present day, and includes a major focus on indigenous history.

After being extensively studied at the Museum of History, the remains of the individuals were returned to Sechelt for reburial.

Another version of the 3D module is being constructed for the Tems Swiya Museum in Sechelt, so that those in the ancient family’s home community can view the results as well.

Please checkout this website for further information.

Source: CTV News

 Shishalh Nation elder James Dixon with the digital facial reconstruction of a shishalh family at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que. (courtesy Canadian Museum of History)
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