Science

Scientists Reconstructed Face Of 9,000 Year Old Teenager

Scientists have managed to reconstruct the face of a 9,000 year old teenager from Greece using technology. Dawn’s skeletal remains were buried in a cave in the region of Thessaly until 1993 when they were uncovered. No one knew what the young woman looked like for 9,000 years, but now scientists have an idea of what her appearance was like, Reuters reports.

Avgi 9,000 Year Old Teenager
Image source: YouTube Video Screenshot

The 9,000 year old teenager, found in 1993 in the Theopetra Cave in the Thessaly region in Greece, lived towards the end of the Mesolithic period. At that time, the Thessaly region was in transition from a hunter gatherer society into one where people grew and made their own food. Scientists chose to call her Avgi, which means “Dawn” in English. The idea for the name came from the fact that she lived at a time of transition which was considered the “dawn of civilization.”

There’s not much information about the way Dawn lived or how she died, although they know that she was a teenager based on the analysis of her bones and teeth, which indicate that she was aged between 15 and 18 years old. According to the scientists, there is a possibility that the 9,000 year old teenager was anemic and could have had scurvy. There’s evidence of hip and joint problems which could had caused her to move with difficulty which led to her death.

Now, researchers from the University of Athens have reconstructed Dawn’s face showing what her face could have looked like, revealing it at an event at the Acropolis Museum on Jan. 19.

Orthodontist Manolis Papagrigorakis, along with his colleagues worked together to reconstruct the young woman’s face, thanks to a CT scan of her skull. After that they created the exact same replica of her skull with the help of a 3D printer.

While some parts of Dawn’s reconstructed face were based off of the measurements of her skill, other facial features such as eye and skin color were gathered from the common traits of people who lived in that region.

“Having reconstructed a lot of Stone Age women and men, I think some facial features seem to have disappeared or ‘smoothed out’ with time,” Oscar Nilsson, part of the research team, archaeologist and sculptor told National Geographic, adding that women and men today look less masculine.

The 9,000 year old teenager from Greece has noticeable cheekbones and a heavy brow and dimpled chin. Researchers attributed her protruding jaw to chewing on animal skins, which people at that time commonly did in order to make soft leather out of animal skins. The reconstruction of Dawn’s face revealed that she seemed to be frowning. Papagrigorakis had an explanation as to why Dawn looked angry.

“It’s not possible for her not to be angry during such an era,” Papagrigorakis jokingly told Reuters when he was asked why she looks angry.