Facial reconstructions of Homo sapiens who lived 30000 years ago in Sungir, located in Vladimir region of central Russia, have been made using virtual reality 3D animation.
The Sungir people are believed to be ancestors of today’s Northern and Eastern Europeans. The Sungir sit is one of the northernmost Paleolithic settlements in Europe first excavated by archaeologists in 1956. Remains of nine people have been discovered there along with 80000 cultural and household artefacts indicating it has been a seasonal hunting camp. Many are made from mammoth bones, Arctic fox canines and stone. Among the findings are beads, pendants, zoomorphic figurines, engravings and clothing. The best-preserved human remains belonged to two siblings, aged approximately 10 and 13. Their skulls were laser-scanned and photographed in high definition. The data was then run through state-of-the-art 3D modelling software, where existing data and modern facial reconstruction techniques were applied. The VR animation is based on contemporary research as well as earlier sculptural reconstructions of Sungir people made by Mikhail Gerasimov’s method – first scientifically accurate method for anthropological facial reconstruction based on a person’s skull created in the mid 20th century.
The reconstruction has been created by a company Visual Science and the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, with support from the All-Russian Science Festival Nauka 0+. Museums and schools around the world can access the visualization for free using Android apps compatible with Google Cardboard or any other VR headset at 4K resolution.
(after Visual Science & Popular Archaeology)