Face of teenage girl from 9,000 years ago reconstructed

January 26, 2018 by Bob Yirka, Phys.org report
The final reconstruction. Credit: Oscar Nilsson

A team of researchers with the University of Athens and a Swedish archaeologist has reconstructed the face of a teenage girl from the Mesolithic period whose remains were found in a Greek cave. They have publicized their efforts by showcasing their work at the Acropolis Museum.

The young girl's remains were found in 1993 in Theopetra Cave in the Thessaly region of Greece. They were dated back to approximately 9,000 years ago, which, the researchers note, puts her at a time when humans there were transitioning from hunter-gatherers to farmers—the dawning of civilization. It was for that reason the team named her Dawn, which translates to Greek as Avgi. The researchers believe she was between the ages of 15 to 18 years old (based on teeth and bone samples) when she died of an as-yet an undetermined cause. They determined she suffered from anemia, scurvy and joint ailments.

The reconstruction team was made up of a neurologist, endocrinologist, orthopedist, orthodontist, radiologist and a pathologist, all from the University of Athens along with Swedish archaeologist/sculptor Oscar Nilsson.

To reconstruct the face, the team started by scanning the skull and printing it out using a 3-D printer. They then glued pegs to the printed skull to show how thick the flesh was supposed to be in different locations. Next, material was added to simulate muscle which was then followed by skin and eyes. The resulting figure appears stern in nature and somewhat masculine which the team suggests was likely a common trait for the time. They also note that the girl had a protruding jaw, which they suggest was due to frequent chewing of animal skins to make them softer, a common practice of people at the time. The team also added dark black hair and posted the full results on a torso which was in turn set up on a stand to allow for viewing from all angles.

The researchers explained at the unveiling of their work that the idea was to give people an idea of what people of the Mesolithic period looked like, which is not much different from those living today.

Explore further: Mexico plans to extract 13,000-year-old skeleton (Update)

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Bart_A
1 / 5 (5) Jan 26, 2018
You think they would at least sample the DNA and find out hair color, etc. Otherwise this is a lot of surmising.
IronhorseA
2 / 5 (4) Jan 26, 2018
I hate to tell them, but that's the face of a 35-40 year old.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (5) Jan 26, 2018
I hate to tell them, but that's the face of a 35-40 year old.
@IronhorseA
not so sure: lifestyle back then was very hard to a body and their lifespan was considerably shorter than modern humans

plus, the wear of early pregnancy can add years to a woman that doesn't have modern healthcare access

if you observe certain hunter-gatherer cultures in similar lifestyles still today, the teenagers tend to have a similar look of wear
(Amazon, Pine Ridge, etc)
rrwillsj
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 26, 2018
This article did not say if the research team was able to successfully extract any DNA samples from this young lady. And there is no link to the synopsis of this project.

B_A, all too often fossil DNA has suffered degradation from a variety of causes. If that was true in this case, I would respect that the restorers have done the best they could. With what probability of correct data is available to them.

With all the public hunger for "MIRACLE" DNA headlines? I'd think if available in this case? The researchers would have showcased it. After all, they are as driven by the need for funding as all the rest of us.
Porgie
2.5 / 5 (8) Jan 26, 2018
Lots of folks are going to be mad she doesn't look negroid. She also looks grouchy.
mackita
5 / 5 (3) Jan 27, 2018
She's having RBF and she probably had a reason for it (as she suffered from anemia, scurvy and joint ailments)...
mackita
1 / 5 (3) Jan 27, 2018
she doesn't look negroid

And should she? (1, 2). But she resembles Michelle Obama a bit for me..
TrollBane
5 / 5 (3) Jan 27, 2018
"I hate to tell them, but that's the face of a 35-40 year old."
Today, perhaps, but back then there was no Avon coming to the door.
Zzzzzzzz
5 / 5 (1) Jan 27, 2018
So what was pissing her off? The anemia, the scurvy, or the joint pain?
rrwillsj
3.6 / 5 (9) Jan 27, 2018
Jeez Porgie and mackita? Really? The possibility of confronting a strong female of the species, is so frightening for you? That you had to crawl through the bigot's wallow?
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Jan 27, 2018
So what was pissing her off? The anemia, the scurvy, or the joint pain?
@Zzz
I don't think she was pissed off so much as it was a natural look that appears to most to be pissed off

I have a similar look when relaxed - hell, with her heavy brow and recessed eyes, we could be related!
(except she has two eyebrows and I only have one!)
LMFAO

mackita
1 / 5 (5) Jan 27, 2018
the possibility of confronting a strong female of the species, is so frightening for you?
Do you mean that anemic being who died in her 15? She apparently weren't even worth of tribal cannibalism in her time...
Captain Stumpy
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 27, 2018
Do you mean that anemic being who died in her 15? She apparently weren't even worth of tribal cannibalism in her time...
@zeph
are you intentionally being stupid, do you have a problem with literacy or are you just incapable of taking the few seconds necessary to actually read the articles you comment on?

It states in the above
The researchers believe she was between the ages of 15 to 18 years old (based on teeth and bone samples)
so, she could be 18

or did you miss that whole part above?
it is in *every* article I've read about the above topic from NAT GEO to the Athens display

This isn't the first time I've had to ask WTF your problem is WRT reading what was actually written, either... so I would also like to know if this problem you have is related to AADHD and your pseudoscience beliefs
mackita
1 / 5 (5) Jan 27, 2018
Frankly I considered, that question "*The possibility of confronting a strong female of the species, is so frightening for you?*" is so out of article context and meaningful, that every answer of mine would be considered an irony without problem.

Apparently I was mistaken...
szore88
1 / 5 (7) Jan 27, 2018
Humans didn't originate in Africa, as the propaganda keep pushing. So now that all you snowflakes have melted, there is no one left here...
mackita
1 / 5 (5) Jan 27, 2018
It also shows, how volatile are many scientific "truths" when they retreat without any glory and medial publicity - (even if we neglect the fact, they're were abused if not developed for propagandist purposes). The anthropogenic global warming may become such a "truth" soon too, the impossibility of cold fusion, antigravity and overunity another one and so on, and so on...
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (4) Jan 27, 2018
She just looks stern to me, not angry.
DirtySquirties
1.9 / 5 (9) Jan 28, 2018
Did some liberal grad student decide it was a tranny? Looks pretty manly to me.
PoppaJ
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 28, 2018
Not interested. Not attractive lol.
ThomasQuinn
4.4 / 5 (7) Jan 28, 2018
The flower of PhysOrg's 'conservative' posters is out on the town hurling sexist abuse at the reconstructed looks of a 9000-year old young woman, with two dishonorable citations for Porgie and szore88 for managing to drag in a little racial slurring to boot. What a surprise...

So classy, such civilized people.
IronhorseA
not rated yet Jan 28, 2018
Did some liberal grad student decide it was a tranny? Looks pretty manly to me.


Although I wouldn't go quite that far, that was my sisters impression when she saw the reconstruction (she also thought closer to 50). Keep in mind we see the reconstruction from the other side of 50 ourselves.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) Jan 28, 2018
She just looks stern to me, not angry.

My uncle, the dentist, would prob'ly comment on her mandibular classification...
Or that her gums were prob'ly diseased and swollen...
Anybody else realize that when you tip your head forward and you keep your jaw relaxed, it extends? Requires a conscious effort to tighten up and pull back...
They might not have taken this into consideration when doing the reconstruction...
24volts
not rated yet Jan 28, 2018
If they had given her red hair instead of black she would look like almost exactly a young woman that is staying with my wife and me at the moment.
Zzzzzzzz
5 / 5 (3) Jan 29, 2018
Apparently I was mistaken...


Likely a permanent condition.
mackita
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 29, 2018
The more people downvote you instead of argue, the more you can be sure, they actually cannot argue you.. ;-)
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (4) Jan 29, 2018
The more people downvote you instead of argue, the more you can be sure, they actually cannot argue you
in your case, zeph, it's more about ignoring your fanaticism

you're a true believer in your faith - because that is what you have. not science

so don't ASSume that because one doesn't make valid points against you and sticks to downrating you then they are not able to refute your claims

I can point to no less than 30 different times you completely ignore validated highly accurate scientific findings just to continue your belief in aether

it is the reason you have a sock army
it is the reason you have been banned from so many forums

it's called Dunning-Kruger and when it's combined with fanaticism and faith, it makes a dangerous kind of stupid
(seen also in fanatical extremist religions)
mackita
2 / 5 (4) Jan 29, 2018
you're a true believer in your faith - because that is what you have. not science
On the contrary, I don't like aether believers (like Milnik here) at all. I don't have religion in my vocabulary: I always require understanding of concept and ability to extrapolate it in logical way.

Ed Witten, 2004: "One thing I can tell you, though, is that most string theorist's suspect that spacetime is a emergent phenomena in the language of condensed matter physics".
Nima Arkani-Hamed 2017: The Doom of Space Time Why It Must Dissolve Into More Fundamental Structures...
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (2) Jan 29, 2018
B_A, all too often fossil DNA has suffered degradation from a variety of causes. If that was true in this case, I would respect that the restorers have done the best they could. With what probability of correct data is available to them
And so whatever makes you think DNA had anything to do with her reconstruction?
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2018
@zeph
On the contrary, I don't like aether believers (like Milnik here) at all
then why do you regularly spam the site with your aether reddit page?
because you don't like yourself?
or are you just a hypocrite with literacy problems?
I always require understanding of concept and ability to extrapolate it in logical way
lie

you're not doing so hot at the moment, eh?

should I point out the fact that your two links are to an opinion, not science?

that would be like me linking to a random internet page of faerie farts and stating that because random person [x] believes they're the cause of hurricanes, and they have [y] credentials, then it must be logical and factual that faerie farts cause hurricanes

PS - there have always been people who claim the death of [x] science
it's kinda like doomsday soothsayers: all over the place

not how Science works though, bubette
- but I expected that out of you because you don't comprehend what Science actually is
savvys84
1 / 5 (2) Jan 30, 2018
she looks like a red indian to me
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Jan 30, 2018
she looks like a red indian to me

??
you've managed to narrow it down to a hemisphere?

did ya have a tribe in mind?

or do you think we all look alike?
savvys84
1 / 5 (3) Jan 31, 2018
@ captain.
Learn some english, will ya
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) Jan 31, 2018
@zeph
On the contrary, I don't like aether believers (like Milnik here) at all.
]then why do you regularly spam the site with your aether reddit page?

Because his aether is different than everybody elses?

Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (1) Jan 31, 2018
she looks like a red indian to me

??
you've managed to narrow it down to a hemisphere?

did ya have a tribe in mind?

or do you think we all look alike?

I dated a redhead that had the same sort of chin. Was she Red Indian?
ThomasQuinn
5 / 5 (1) Jan 31, 2018
@ captain.
Learn some english, will ya


Have you no self-respect at all?
24volts
5 / 5 (2) Jan 31, 2018
Whydening Gyre, Savvys84 is probably fairly accurate in that guess regardless of your sarcasm.

The girl that stays with us has a Cherokee and Irish background and like I said before, if the girl in the picture had red hair she would look very much like the girl that lives with us. Could be a sister or a fraternal twin.. Even the same grumpy expression on her face most of the time.
She obviously can't be one since her bones were found in a Greek cave that doesn't stop certain facial characteristics from being passed down through the years.... there is an old saying that everyone has a twin somewhere on the planet. There is no particular reason it has to be in the same time frame.
mackita
3 / 5 (2) Jan 31, 2018
Because his aether is different than everybody elses?
Yep, dense aether model was proposed first by Oliver Lodge in 1905 and from this time it was safely forgotten - partially because Einstein celebrated success with his relativity theory during it (despite Einstein recognized and noted himself in his Leyden address, that relativity would need some aether - without motion concept - anyway), partially because Lodge turned to heavy spiritism in his senile age and he discredited himself with it (despite he could become a second "Lord Kelvin" easily - his contribution to physics of his era was comparable).
Captain Stumpy
not rated yet Jan 31, 2018
@ captain.
Learn some english, will ya
@savvys84
Me?
It's you who are now assuming that all freakin' tribes look alike

for starters, "red indian" narrows your argument of looks to every tribe west of f*cking Portugal - so that means everyone in the North & South America's who is native (you know, like I am)

Secondly: The native peoples here are not monolithic & they are culturally and genetically very diverse and look very different from each other.

Nowhere do you actually clarify your comment

so when you say "she looks like a red indian to me" [sic], you should qualify that with a tribe

.

lastly: there are mixed blood as well - so do you mean Oglala-Apache mix? Hungarian-Seneca?

what?

Likely this is new to you, so you're ignorant of the basics

perhaps you should actually google the tribes and look at pictures of the differences?
https://www.acces...tomy.htm
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Jan 31, 2018
@24V
The girl that stays with us has a Cherokee and Irish background and
uprated your comments because I also happen to know a few Cherokee who have the strong protruding bottom Jaw-line that is distinct in the above pic

It's a family trait
She obviously can't be one since her bones were found in a Greek cave that doesn't stop certain facial characteristics from being passed down through the years
I actually wonder about this, too...

If they manage to isolate and type the DNA I would love to compare it to certain tribes and lines - especially the Cherokee lineage I spoke of above
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Jan 31, 2018
Whydening Gyre, Savvys84 is probably fairly accurate in that guess regardless of your sarcasm.

The girl that stays with us has a Cherokee and Irish background and like I said before, if the girl in the picture had red hair she would look very much like the girl that lives with us. Could be a sister or a fraternal twin.. Even the same grumpy expression on her face most of the time.

He could have just said - Native American...
savvys84
5 / 5 (2) Feb 01, 2018
Sorry captain, My mistake. I am not that well informed about tribal lineages among the native Indians. Tho dna samples would give probably a better understanding of her ancestry.
Lol tho my y dna being I1 does not tell conclusively about ancestry at all. since i am related to alexander the great
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Feb 01, 2018
Sorry captain, My mistake
@savvys84
apology accepted
I am not that well informed about tribal lineages among the native Indians
It's kinda like saying "white people"
:-)
Tho dna samples would give probably a better understanding of her ancestry
True that
Of course, it would really be cool if there was a combined world database so that we can have a huge means to track various lineages over time, but that would also mean loss of privacy
meh
Lol tho my y dna being I1 does not tell conclusively about ancestry at all. since i am related to alexander the great
interesting
Technically, that means you're related (albeit distantly) to my wife
LOL
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (2) Feb 01, 2018
24volts, Up until about midway through the Hellenic-Roman eras, there were widespread migrations and settlements of proto-celtic peoples throughout the Anatolian Peninsula and well into Europe.

Coincidence? Or, perhaps your guest is a time-traveler?

Yeah, that must be it. And I want 50% of the royalties when you publish her story.
ThomasQuinn
5 / 5 (1) Feb 02, 2018
If you talk about "proto-celtic" peoples in the "Hellenic-Roman eras", by which I assume you mean the Hellenistic era ~300BC - 31 BC, and the Roman empire, 27BC - ~400AD, then your chronology is completely f*cked up. Midway through that period would be, charitably, around the start of the 1st century AD.

Here's a little hint: if we talk about Celtic peoples form the 6th century BC onwards, then it's probably wrong to talk about proto-Celtic peoples several centuries later.

Also, "throughout the Anatolian Peninsula and well into Europe."

Do you realize that the expansion of what the Romans called Gauls and what we tend to call Celts from central Europe into Anatolia is actually documented in Greek and Roman sources? "Throughout" Anatolia is a huge overstatement, and the phrase "well into Europe" suggests you seem to think they came from Anatolia into Europe, which is in downright contradiction to all historical and archaeological evidence.

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