The artificial skull, found in 1987 in an antique shop, nearly matches an unpublished sketch da Vinci made centuries ago and is made with materials the Renaissance inventor created himself.
When you think of Leonardo da Vinci, you probably conjure up images of the Vitruvian Man, the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper or maybe those flying machines you flew around in Assassin’s Creed II. You probably don’t imagine the guy hard at work crafting a replica human skull, but evidence indicates that may have been a grim pastime for the famous Renaissance man.
Wired’s UK site reports that a Belgian researcher recently published several findings based on an artificial skull he examined, and there’s some compelling evidence to paint it as the work of Leonardo himself. The skull, originally discovered in an antique store by a German couple in 1987, bears a striking similarity to unpublished sketches made by da Vinci and kept at Britain’s Royal Collection at Windsor, according to the researcher, one Stefaan Missine. Further, the jawless, hollow skull is created from “mistioni,” a special stone mixture created by none other than da Vinci himself and which he used to create other objects such as artificial pearls.
“All roads lead to Leonardo,” Missine told Wired. The skull replicates that of a 50-year old male and contains numerous physical deformities, such as a hump above the nose and a bulging forehead. However, it also contains the attention to detail you’d expect from the master crafter, such as optic canals which eye sockets to the brain’s cranial cavity. Missine hypothesizes to Wired that the skull could have been part of da Vinci’s search for the seat of the soul, or “Sensus Communis.”