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Face of Diadem-Wearing Woman Digitally Reconstructed

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

BARCELONA, SPAIN—Live Science reports that scientific illustrator Joana Bruno collaborated with archaeologists from the Autonomous University of Barcelona to build a virtual reconstruction of the face of a Bronze Age woman whose remains were discovered in southeastern Spain’s site of La Almoloya. The woman died some 3,700 years ago between the ages of 25 and 30, perhaps from tuberculosis. She was missing a neck vertebra and rib, and had a stunted left thumb. She was buried wearing a silver diadem, beaded necklaces, silver rings, bracelets, spiral hairpieces, earplugs with spirals, a silver-rimmed drinking pot, and a silver-handled awl. Her remains were interred in a large ovoid pot with the skeleton of a man thought to have died several years earlier. Laser scanning was used to obtain measurements of the woman’s skull and lower jaw, while the diadem allowed Bruno to estimate the size of the upper portion of the skull, which was not preserved. Laser scans of the jewelry were also added to the image, Bruno explained. When combined with DNA analysis, the process of facial reconstruction may help researchers see similarities of features and kinship among those buried at La Almoloya, Bruno concluded. For more on this burial, go to "Crowning Glory."

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