Affectionately Known As

Using digital technology, a woman’s skull, found on the Wairau Bar archeological in 1939 and now thought to be 600 years old, has been recreated. Facial anthropologist Susan Hayes from the University of Western Australia (UWA) determined the facial structure from Computed Tomography (CT) scans of the skull. Hayes was able to calculate the likely appearance of the eyes, nose, mouth and overall face shape before building up the soft tissues, starting with the main muscles that define the overall shape of the face. “The level of accuracy is within the parameters of what she would have looked like  except for what we cannot determine from the skull such as hair or the lines on the face or character,” said Hayes. Affectionately known as “Aunty” by local Marlborough iwi Rangitane, the computer image shows a woman, thought to have been in her early 30s when she died, who may have held a place in the tribal elite. Rangitane iwi spokesman Richard Bradley said the photo-image added a new dimension to the lives of the original Wairau Bar inhabitants. “Instead of seeing a collection of bones and skulls, we start to see what the person looked like,” he said. “Up till now, all we’ve seen are figures in a museum that don’t really bear much resemblance to how we see ourselves today.”


Tags: Computed Tomography  Hindu (The)  Marlborough  Rangitane  Richard Bradley  Susan Hayes  University of Western Australia  Wairau Bar  

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