Today’s Top Discovery Headline –Meet “Dawn” –Face of a 9,000 Year-Old Mesolithic Teenager Reconstructed (WATCH Video)




The appearance of the 18-year-old woman, whom researchers named named Avgi, or 'Dawn,' is based on a female skull excavated from a cave occupied in 7,000 B.C. Her name is Avgi, and the last time anyone saw her face was nearly 9,000 years ago. When she lived in Greece, at the end of the Mesolithic period around 7000 B.C., the region was transitioning from a society of hunter gatherers to one that began cultivating its own food.

Facial features have "smoothed out" over millennia, and humans look less masculine today, says reconstructor Oscar Nilsson. In addition to the team of doctors, the university worked with Nilsson, a Swedish archaeologist and sculptor who specializes in reconstructions. He's worked on bringing so many ancient faces back to life that he even has a favorite period to work on: "the Stone Age," he says.


In English, Avgi translates to Dawn—a name archaeologists chose because she lived during what's considered the dawn of civilization reports today's National Geographic. Little is known about how she lived and died, but now archaeologists can see the ancient woman's prominent cheekbones, heavy brow, and dimpled chin.

Avgi's face was revealed by University of Athens researchers at an event at the Acropolis Museum on Friday. An endocrinologist, orthopedist, neurologist, pathologist, and radiologist were all needed to accurately reconstruct what Avgi would have looked like. The reconstruction team was led by orthodontist Manolis Papagrigorakis, who noted at the museum event that while Avgi's bones appeared to belong to a 15-year-old-woman, her teeth indicated she was 18, "give or take a year," said Papagrigorakis.

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