The famous skull Mladeč 1, unearthed since 1881 in a cave in the Czech Republic, has been reconstructed into a realistic portrait by an international research team.
When it was first found, Mladeč was analyzed and classified as a male individual, who lived 31,000 years ago and is one of the oldest Homo sapiens – or intelligent humans, our species – were found in Europe.
The process of restoring the portrait of a girl in Mladeč cave – Photo: Cicero Moraes
New research, just published as part of the online book “Forensic Facial Approaches to Mladeč Skulls 1,” shows that gender determination by archaeologists 140 years ago has mistake.
“When the skull was analyzed individually, the features indicated it could be a male. But when research steps later compared the skull to other specimens found at the same site, the evidence was only limited. So it must be a woman,” Brazilian forensic graphics expert Cicero Moraes, a member of the research team, told Live Science.
They used information gathered from nineteenth-century excavations, combined with forensic facial reconstructions based on 3D scan data of the skull. This face reconstruction was tried by scientists in the 1930s but was unsuccessful because of technological limitations.
The team led by the Czech Cave Administration used up to 200 CT scans of modern humans and from different populations in the area found in previous archeology, to find Look for details that the remains don’t reveal, for example, predicting hair color, skin…
Portrait of a 17-year-old girl from 31,000 years ago – Photo: Cicero Moraes
The elaborate reconstruction steps to “apply” each layer of soft tissue to the skull, which were rendered in 3D in a computer, have slowly revealed the face of a very young girl, which, according to other research data, is estimated to be just 17 years old.
The girl who was sent “through the air” by scientists from the ancient world has quite tough features on her face but is still clearly a girl.
Mladeč Cave – Photo: INTERNATIONAL CAVE ASSOCIATION
Like her fellow humans at the time, she belonged to a hunter-gatherer tribe – possibly one of the first Homo sapiens communities to explore Europe – with mixed African blood and traits. Europe and Asia today.