Europe

Face of 9,000 year-old teen girl recreated

Presentation of the reconstructed face of "Dawn", a young woman who lived around 7,000 BC in a cave in Greece Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The angry face of Dawn is on display at the Acropolis Museum in Athens

This is what Dawn may have looked like when she was alive, 9,000 years ago.

The face of a girl, thought to be aged between 15 and 18, has been recreated by scientists based on remains found in a cave in Greece in 1993.

The silicone model was created using CT scans and 3D printing technology.

She was named Avgi, Greek for Dawn, because she lived in the Mesolithic period in about 7,000 BC, considered by some to be the dawn of civilisation.

According to researchers at the University of Athens, her remains suggest that:

  • She had a protruding jaw, which could have been caused by chewing on animal skin to make it into soft leather
  • Dawn suffered from anaemia, lack of vitamins and possibly scurvy
  • She could have struggled to move because of hip and joint problems, which could have contributed to her death

Her bones indicated she was 15 when she died, but the teeth suggested she was 18. Other features like skin and eye colour were inferred based on general population traits in the area.

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As for her apparently angry look, orthodontics professor Manolis Papagrikorakis told Reuters news agency: "It's not possible for her not to be angry during such an era."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The process of reconstructing Dawn's face

Her remains were found in Theopetra Cave, in the central Greek region of Thessaly, where objects from Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods have also been discovered.

The reconstruction work involved an international team and a Swedish laboratory specialising in human reconstructions.

The face is on display at the Acropolis Museum in Athens.

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