Brazilian researchers have made an exciting breakthrough in archaeology by digitally reconstructing the face of a man who lived in Egypt around 35,000 years ago. This is believed to be one of the oldest Homo sapiens skeletons found in the world, with the remains discovered over 40 years ago at an archaeological site in the Nile Valley. The researchers used a process called photogrammetry, which creates 3D renderings from 2D images by capturing features from every angle of an object or in this case, a skull.
The skeleton of the man was believed to be of African ancestry, and the only archaeological artifact found near him was a stone axe. Despite some losses, the skull’s structure for facial approximation was well preserved, which helped the researchers reconstruct his face. The scientists involved in the project, Moacir Elias Santos, an archaeologist, and Cicero Moraes, a 3D designer, discovered that the skull had a mostly modern structure, although the jaw was much more robust than what is typically found in contemporary Homo sapiens.
Photogrammetry is not a new technique in archaeology, but technological advancements have made it more affordable and accurate. The Brazilian researchers admitted that their digital recreation was only an approximation, but it should help scientists understand an important chapter in human evolution. This breakthrough follows other successful efforts in reconstructing the faces of long-deceased individuals, such as Ramses II, one of Egypt’s famous pharaohs, and a 2,000-year-old Nabataean woman found in north-west Saudi Arabia.
The use of digital technology in archaeology has opened up new possibilities for research and discovery. The ability to reconstruct the faces of long-deceased people not only provides valuable insights into our history and evolution but also allows us to connect with the past on a more personal level. As photogrammetry continues to advance, we can expect to see more exciting discoveries and reconstructions in the future.