di. 22 jun. 2021

Welcome Wende! Museum Schokland unveils facial reconstruction

We proudly present Wende, the prehistoric inhabitant of the Schokland area. The facial reconstruction can be seen from Saturday 19 June in a temporary exhibition in the rectory of the Museum Church. The temporary exhibition was opened on Friday afternoon by councilwoman Mrs Uitdewilligen, in the presence of paleo artist Mr Bakker, archaeologist Mr Ten Anscher and prize winner Mr Maas. The exhibition is on display until June 29, after which Wende will be given a prominent place in the permanent exhibition of Museum Schokland.

Facial reconstruction

Paleo artist Bakker, who is internationally celebrated for his beautiful, life-size models of prehistoric animals and his skilled facial reconstructions, was commissioned to make a lifelike facial reconstruction based on the skull – on loan from Batavialand/PDBF. Using a 3D print, Bakker modelled the woman’s face as realistically as possible, layer by layer. The reconstruction is scientifically valid, with added artistic enrichments by the artist.

Wende, detail. Photo: Museum Schokland, 2021.

The name Wende

A face always has a name. A competition was held among the inhabitants of Flevoland. Out of more than three hundred entries, Museum Schokland adopted the name Wende, an abbreviation of Wendila, which is old Germanic for “traveller” or “wanderer”. A fitting name: not only does the name say something about life in the late Stone Age, but thanks to Wende the visitor is taken to prehistoric times as a traveller in time.

Importance of the facial reconstruction

This woman from Schokland, Wende, is a symbol of the early history of the area. One has a picture of prehistory thanks to the archaeological finds, but thanks to the facial reconstruction this history is brought to life. Museum Schokland tells the age-old story of Living with Water. Even before the time of the Zuiderzee, people lived with water: on higher river dunes close to the Vecht river. Wende makes us raise questions: how do we deal with a changing landscape, then, now and in the future?

Paleo artist Remie Bakker at work. Still by Omroep Flevoland from a film by Bakker, which can be seen during the exhibition.

Temporary exhibition Welcome Wende

A temporary exhibition has been developed around Wende’s presentation. Here is more information about the excavations, thirty years ago. There are artist impressions of the landscape in Wende’s time. The production of the facial reconstruction is also extensively discussed. Welcome Wende can be seen from the National Archeology Days, on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 June, and will last for several weeks. After this, Wende will be given a prominent place in Museum Schokland’s permanent exhibition Living with Water.