Facial reconstruction of an 11-year-old female resident of 430 BC Athens

Manolis J. Papagrigorakis, Philippos N. Synodinos, Aristomenis Antoniadis, Emmanuel Maravelakis, Panagiotis Toulas, Oscar Nilsson, Effie Baziotopoulou-Valavani
2011 Angle Orthodontist  
Although modern standards of ideal proportions and facial esthetics are based mostly on observations of human faces as depicted in Classical Greek masterpieces of art, the real faces of ordinary ancient Greeks have, until now, remained elusive and subject to the imagination. Objective forensic techniques of facial reconstruction have never been applied before, because human skeletal material from Classical Greece has been extremely scarce, since most decent burials of that time required
more » ... me required cremation. Here, the authors show stage by stage the facial reconstruction of an 11-year-old girl whose skull was unearthed in excellent condition from a mass grave with victims of the Plague that struck Athens of 430 BC. The original skull was replicated via three-dimensional modeling and rapid prototyping techniques. The reconstruction followed the Manchester method, laying the facial tissues from the surface of the skull outward by using depthmarker pegs as thickness guides. The shape, size, and position of the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth were determined according to features of the underlying skeletal tissues, whereas the hairstyle followed the fashion of the time. This is the first case of facial reconstruction of a layperson residing in Athens of the Golden Age of Pericles. It is ironic, however, that this unfortunate girl who lived such a short life in ancient Athens, will now, 2500 years later, have the chance to travel and be universally recognizable in a world much bigger than anybody in ancient Athens could have ever imagined. (Angle Orthod. 2011;81:171-179.)
doi:10.2319/012710-58.1 pmid:20936971 fatcat:jutizap25naozl645yoiy4qe4m