Name Francesco Mallegni
Spouse Laura Mattei
Alma mater University of Pisa
Academic advisors don Raffaello Parenti
Francesco Mallegni, lo studioso che dà un volto ai grandi del passato
Francesco Mallegni (Camariore, 14 February, 1940)- Italian paleoanthropologist, author of forensic facial reconstructions of several Italian Medieval persons.
Assistant in 1973, associated in 1980, since 2002 professor of paleoanthropology at the department of archaeological sciences in Pisa and Siena.
In 2002 Francesco Mallegni conducted DNA testing on the recently excavated bodies of the Ugolino and his children. His analysis agrees with the remains being a father, his sons and his grandsons. Additional comparison to DNA from modern day members of the Gherardesca family leave Mallegni about 98 percent sure that he has identified the remains correctly. However, the Forensic analysis discredits the allegation of cannibalism. Analysis of the rib bones of the Ugolino skeleton reveals traces of magnesium, but no zinc, implying he had consumed no meat in the months before his death. Ugolino also had few remaining teeth and is believed to have been in his 70s when he was imprisoned, making it further unlikely that he could have outlived and eaten his descendants in captivity. Additionally, Mallegni notes that the putative Ugolino skull was damaged; perhaps he did not ultimately die of starvation, although malnourishment is evident.
During an excavation in the 1970s bones were discovered beneath the paving of Santa Reparata at a spot close to the location given by Vasari, but unmarked on either level. Forensic examination of the bones by Francesco Mallegni and a team of experts in 2000 brought to light some facts that seemed to confirm that they were those of a painter, particularly the range of chemicals, including arsenic and lead, both commonly found in paint, that the bones had absorbed.
The new face shows softer traits: large eyes, a rounded jaw and a gentler expression, although the nose remains crooked. The multidisciplinary project to reconstruct Dante's face lasted about two months, using a plaster model of the skull and 3D computer technology and other techniques to simulate muscles and skin.