HomeOpinionScientists reveal the true face of the 35,000-year-old Egyptian

Scientists reveal the true face of the 35,000-year-old Egyptian

About 35,000 years ago, a man of African descent died in what is now Egypt. 32,000 years before the first known pharaoh, no one knows who this man was or what society he lived in. The only archaeological clue was an ax found with him when his bones were found more than forty years ago at Nazlet Hater 2, an archaeological site in Egypt’s Nile Valley.

Although the details of his life are lost in time, his death is one of the most important moments of archeology. This is because this man, 170 cm tall and between 17 and 29 years old, is the oldest known skeleton. homo sapiens One of the oldest in Egypt and in the world. And more importantly, the skull is surprisingly solid.

Now, 43 years after the initial discovery, Brazilian scientists have used a process known as photogrammetry to digitally recreate what this ancient man might have looked like. preprints study published (in Portuguese) At the end of March.

“The skeleton retained most of the bones, although there were some losses,” he said. live science co-author and archaeologist Moasir Elias Santos. “However, the skull, the basic structure for approaching the face, is well preserved.”

After collecting detailed images of the skeleton, the scientists created two composite images: one in black and white in neutral condition, and the other a more realistic image with a beard and curly curls. The researchers found that the skull itself was mostly of a modern structure, although the jaw was much stronger than that typically found in modern humans. homo sapiensA possible genetic relic from our great ape ancestors.

The application of photogrammetry in archeology has been around for decades, but recent technological advances have made the technique more accessible, ubiquitous and accurate. At its core, photogrammetry creates a 3D visualization from 2D images and uses feature mapping to capture the artifact, burial site, or (in this case) skull from all angles.

In the last few years, scientists have created many digital reproductions of human fossils. In 2016, the University of Glasgow recreated the legendary Scottish King Robert the Bruce, using a mold of the original skull and some population statistics to fill in the blanks (for example, the 14th-century Scottish king had red hair and brown eyes). ).

Other studies have also digitally reproduced famous faces from the same area as this 35,000-year-old specimen. In 2021, scientists from the Hundred Laboratory at Liverpool John Moores University in England found that perhaps the most famous pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, who ruled from 1279 to 1213 BC, was King George II. He recreated Ramses’ face. According to computerized tomography data, II. who died at the age of 90. Ramses was 45 years old.

Brazilian scientists admit that their digital reproduction is only a guess, but due to the skeleton’s enormous age (late Paleolithic), this facsimile does more than show a face from a little-known era. Not only is it a part of human history, it also helps scientists understand an important chapter in human evolution.

Source: Port Altele

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