Face of 2,500-year-old woman recreated by New Zealand scientists

15:36, July 09, 2010      

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New Zealand scientists have recreated the face of a 2,500-year-old Turkish peasant with technology they hope could be used in court in coming years.

University of Otago researchers refined procedures they had previously used on an Egyptian mummy to reconstruct the skull of the woman whose full skeleton was found during an archaeological dig in Keltepe, near the site of the ruins of the ancient merchant city of Kanesh, the Otago Daily Times reported on Friday.

The project began last year when senior lecturer in anatomy and structural biology, George Dias, traveled to Turkey after the skeleton's discovery.

The site was on the cross roads of the East-West, and North- South trade routes.

The face was reconstructed with silicone skin, real hair, and eyes which have been aged with red veins. The woman is believed to have been between 35 and 50 when she died.

The most fascinating aspect of the woman was the state of her teeth, which were immaculate at a time when teeth were cleaned with sticks.

The project was completed in partnership with Anadolu University, with which Otago University has a long history of co- operation.

The team behind the reconstruction had previously used its techniques on a 2,300-year-old Egyptian mummy, which is on display at Otago's museum.

The reconstructed face is on display this weekend at Otago University and will go on permanent display in Istanbul this year.



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