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Scientists Reconstruct Face Of Teen Who Lived 9,000 Years Ago

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Dawn lived in Greece about 9,000 years ago around 7,000 BC. It has been millenia since anyone has looked into this young woman's face, but researchers now have an idea how she looked like.

Dawn

Dawn lived in Greece at the end of the Mesolithic period, when the region was transitioning from a hunter gatherer society into one where people cultivate their own food. Scientists, in fact, chose to call her Avgi, which translates to Dawn in English, because she lived in a period considered as the dawn of civilization.

Scientists do not know much about how Dawn lived and died, but they know she was a teenager. Analysis of her bones and teeth suggests that she is between 15 and 18 years old.

Researchers said that Dawn was also possibly anemic and may have had scurvy. Evidence likewise show of hip and joint problems, which may have made movement difficult and contributed to her death.

Now, University of Athens researchers revealed how Dawn's face would have looked like when she was still alive. They unveiled a reconstruction of the teenager's face at an event at the Acropolis Museum on Jan. 19.

Reconstructing Dawn's Face

Orthodontist Manolis Papagrigorakis and colleagues worked together to reconstruct Dawn's face. The researchers took a CT scan of the skull, which was discovered at Theopetra Cave in Thessaly, Greece in 1993, and then produced an exact replica of the scan's measurement using a 3D printer.

Some of Dawn's reconstructed features are based on measurements of her skull, but others such as the eye and skin color were deduced from the common traits of the people in the 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," said archaeologist and sculptor Oscar Nilsson, who is part of the team. He added that modern day men and women now look less masculine.

Angry Face

The young woman has prominent cheekbones, heavy brow, and dimpled chin. Researchers attribute her protruding jaw to chewing on animal skin, which people of the era commonly do to make animal skin into soft leather. Dawn's reconstructed face also revealed a scowling expression. Papagrigorakis has a tongue in cheek explanation why Dawn's face looked angry.

"It's not possible for her not to be angry during such an era," Papagrigorakis jokingly said, when asked why Dawn does not seem to look happy.

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