Leader comment: There's a warning in faces from our brutal past

We've had quite a few 'faces from the past' recently with reconstructions of Richard III, Robert the Bruce, St Nicholas, an 'ordinary' 13th century man from Cambridge.

The remains of the skull of a Scottish prisoner of war captured by Oliver Cromwell's troops in 1650 (Picture: PA)
The remains of the skull of a Scottish prisoner of war captured by Oliver Cromwell's troops in 1650 (Picture: PA)

So much so that people could be forgiven for getting a bit bored of the growing parade.

However, it is one thing to read about history and another to see images of the human beings who lived through it.

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5,000 years of Scottish history summed up in 25 objects

The reconstructed face of a Scottish soldier captured by Oliver Cromwell’s forces at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650 show an understandably distressed young man.

He is believed to have been among the 1,700 out of 3,000 prisoners who died or were executed in Durham, with their bodies dumped in a mass grave. It is thought about 50 died every day.

Britain today may seem far removed from this kind of barbarism, but elsewhere in Europe in recent years there have been similar horrors.

The march of history is not necessarily a natural progression towards a better world. We need to actively work to make it so.