Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Face of Earliest European is Reconstructed

At the behest of the BBC, a skilled forensic artist has reconstructed the head and facial features representing the first anatomically modern human to live in Europe ~ a person inhabiting the Carpathian Mountains of Romania about 35,000 years ago.

According to Britain's The Independent:

The artist's reconstruction ~ a face that could be male or female ~ is based on the partial skull and jawbone found in a cave where bears were known to hibernate. The facial features indicate the close affinity of these early Europeans to their immediate African ancestors, although it was still not possible to determine the person's sex.

The lower jawbone of the first modern European was discovered in 2002 in Pestera cu Oase, the "cave with bones", located in the southwestern Carpathians. The remaining fragments of skull were unearthed in 2003.

Scientists have dated the bones using radiocarbon analysis to between 34,000 and 36,000 years ago when Europe was occupied by both Neanderthal man, who had lived in the region for tens of thousands of years, and anatomically-modern humans – Homo sapiens – who had recently arrived on a migratory route from Africa via the Middle East.

Although the skull shares many modern feature of human anatomy, it also displays more archaic traits, such as very large molar teeth, which led some scientists to speculate the skull may belong to a hybrid between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals ~ an idea discounted by other experts.

The reconstruction was made for the forthcoming BBC 2 series The Incredible Human Journey, which documents human origins and evolution.

Click here for the complete The Independent article.


Lee Morgan said...

I love facial reconstructions like this! I am always struck by the way it reminds us both of the sameness and otherness of our long ago ancestors. Both of which are facsinating things. Thank you for drawing my attention to this.

Gregory LeFever said...

You're welcome, as always, Alice Kytler. Thank you for stopping by. I thought this reconstruction was particularly interesting, especially in relation to some of the new reconstructive work being done on people from the Neanderthal period, who seem to have more strictly European appearances.

Anonymous said...

yeah, this is nonsense.

Coloring this person as a black african is nonsensical and is being done as a politically correct multiculti influence.

His facial features are those of a black african as well. I really doubt this is the work product of simple scientific inquiry or simply leading where the facts take you.

To little of the skull was recovered to meaningfully reconstruct alone ..
and NO DNA, which would be crucial to the correct skin color, eye color, and ethnicity was mentioned, so this is nothing but a exercise in fantasy and political correctness.