She has amber eyes and a steely gaze, long pleated hair resting on her shoulder and a rather glum expression – some might say there’s even a passing resemblance to Spice Girl Victoria Beckham

Having been laid to rest 2000 years before the birth of Christ in a grave in Kilmartin Glen, technology and art have combined to bring the face of a Bronze Age woman brought back to life.

Painstakingly reconstructed by a Swedish forensic artist using the fragmented remains of her skull as a template, the hyper-realistic silicon model is so detailed it even has tiny eyelashes and long dark hair that can be brushed.

Eerily lifelike and remarkably similar to Victoria Beckham, her 4,000-year-old features will greet visitors to a reborn Kilmartin Museum in Argyll, in the heart of the glen where her life came to a premature end.

The reconstruction was created by renowned forensic artist Oscar D Nilsson who uses a range of techniques including 3D printing and DNA analysis to faithfully reconstruct ancient faces.

It is set to become a key talking point at the revived museum when it reopens this Sunday following a three-year closure for a  £7 million reconstruction. The new look museum will showcase like never before its recently recognised Nationally Significant Collection of over 20,000 prehistoric artefacts which make up half of the its collection.

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The prestigious award was announced in 2019 while the museum was undergoing the major redevelopment and is recognition of its importance and role in telling Scotland’s story. The reopening will be the first time the Collection has been shown.

The Bronze Age woman’s broken skeleton was found in Upper Largie in 1996 and is the only prehistoric human burial from that area to have ever been found.

At the time of her death, aged somewhere between her late 20s and early 30s, Mid Argyll and the Kilmartin Glen in particular, was an important ceremonial region: more than 800 historic monuments such as cairns, standing stones, stone circles and rock art dating back over 5000 years have been identified in the area.

While the reconstruction offers a fascinating glimpse into the past, the revived museum owes part of its collection to another woman who, 4,0000 after the Bronze Age burial, embarked on a personal mission to capture the glen’s vast history.

Marion Campbell of Kilberry completed the first archaeological survey of Kilmartin Glen in 1962 and unlocked the scale of human activity across the area, spanning the Neolithic, to the early Christian and the Medieval.

For almost ten years, she and her companion, Mary Sandeman, trudged across miles of rugged and boggy landscape searching for a glimpse of the tiniest evidence of human life.

Although neither had any formal archaeological training, their steely resolve to singlehandedly map the wealth of archaeological features that seemed to proliferate the Knapdale hills and Kilmartin Glen resulted in what was described as “one of the really outstanding field surveys of our generation”.

According to Dr Sharon Webb MBE, Director and Curator at Kilmartin Museum, the amateur archaeologists’ efforts created a crucial record of the area’s vast wealth of historic sites and treasures which even now is helping to inform and boost understanding of the area.

“It was quite unusual at the time for women to be doing archaeological work and publishing what they were finding,” she says.

“They looked at the landscape as a cultural landscape and not as isolated, individual sites.

“They identified this mass concentration of archaeological sites in Kilmartin, many of which have since been scheduled as monuments and protected, and many investigated by archaeologists since which has added to our knowledge.”

Marion, born in 1919 in Kilberry Castle, which had been in her family for more than 300 years, used her lifelong knowledge of the landscape to record hundreds of archaeological sites including standing stones and cairns, and Medieval-Christian sites and forts.

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On the way, she found scores of Bronze Age artifacts and examples of mysterious rock art.

The pair also picked over the remains of long abandoned houses and huts and made note of everything from 18th century bridges to mansions, recording alongside details of local traditions and placenames to help bring context and insight to a mindboggling timeframe spanning Mesolithic to the early modern.

Before her death in 2000, she donated her personal collection of antiquities which went on to provide the foundation of Kilmartin Museum, established in 1997 by Rachel Butter and David Clough.

The revamped museum will showcase 5000 years of Argyll and Bute’s archaeological history and rewind over 12,000 years of landscape development through stories, visualisations and artefacts.

The redevelopment includes larger exhibition space, creative and education rooms and a platform for the Nationally Significant Collection which alone makes up over 20,000 prehistoric artefacts, alongside graphic recreations and videos exploring and recreating ways of life in the Glen.

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While fresh insights will be offered into the Glen’s status as an important prehistoric location, including new understanding of the techniques used to create the area’s vast concentrations of prehistoric rock art, and details of what was behind the ceremonial burning of nearly 400 oak trees.

The trees were cut down 5,500 years ago and re-erected to form the Kilmartin Cursus Monument which was then ritualistically burnt, leaving a manmade impact on the local landscape. The story behind it is being told through a series of new artworks.

Among the museum’s huge range of exhibits are artefacts from Dunadd Fort, where kings of the Dál Riata gathered and are thought to have been crowned, 4,500 year old beaker pots, Neolithic stone axe and arrowhead and Mesolithic flint core.

While the exhibits include several on loan from other museums, including a 4,000 year old Whitby jet necklace found in a cist at Poltalloch, Kilmartin, which is on loan from the National Museum of Sotland.

As well as being one of the best examples ever found, it along with an Irish bowl also on show, suggests that people were travelling and communicating across greater distances than may have been previously thought.

One of western Europe’s most richly populated prehistoric landscapes, the vast array of artefacts and sites spanning such a long period of history indicate the importance of the area, says Dr Webb.

“Kilmartin Glen shines out as being internationally important -it was an important ritual, ceremonial and burial landscape.

“Prehistoric people were starting to go from hunting, gathering and fishing to growing crops and farming, and building monuments as a way of expressing their belief and understanding of the world.”

The Highland landscape with two large rivers, and its interaction with the sun are thought to have attracted people in a similar way to Stonehenge, she adds.

“Later people also built on significant sites created by earlier people.

“But exactly why the area became such a ‘hot spot’ is not something we yet fully understand.”