Facial reconstruction of a woman from Pleistocene Thailand

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A new paper from Antiquity presents a facial reconstruction of a woman found in Tham Lod, a Pleistocene site in northern Thailand.


Creating a facial appearance for individuals from the distant past is often highly problematic, even when verified methods are used. This is especially so in the case of non-European individuals, as the reference populations used to estimate the face tend to be heavily biased towards the average facial variation of recent people of European descent. To evaluate the problem, a facial approximation of a young woman from the Late Pleistocene rockshelter of Tham Lod in north-western Thailand was compared against the average facial variation of datasets from recent populations. The analysis indicated that the Tham Lod facial approximation was neither overtly recent in facial morphology, nor overtly European. The case is of particular interest as the Tham Lod individual probably belonged to a population ancestral to extant Australo-Melanesian peoples.

Source: A Late Pleistocene woman from Tham Lod, Thailand: the influence of today on a face from the past | Antiquity | Cambridge Core

See also: Face of Stone Age woman from Thailand’s northern highlands revealed

The new face of the Hobbit

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A new facial reconstruction of Homo floresiensis was introduced last week at the Australian Archaeological Association’s annual conference and also made its rounds in the news media. Reconstructions of the hobbit have been commonplace, but what makes this face different is that Susan Hayes has published a paper on the reconstruction, explaining how and why this face was derived from the bones. Here’s a roundup of the news:

Reconstruction of Homo floresiensis, Susan Hayes, University of Wollongong

Reconstruction of Homo floresiensis, Susan Hayes, University of Wollongong

Hobbit face revealed
Cosmos, 10 December 2012

Real-Life ‘Hobbit’ Face Revealed
LiveScience, 10 December 2012

‘She’s not pretty’ – meet a real hobbit
The Age, 10 December 2012

The Flores Hobbit’s face revealed
The Conversation, 10 December 2012

What a hobbit REALLY looks like: Researchers reconstruct the face of Homo floresiensis
Daily Mail, 10 December 2012

New face for ancient ‘Hobbit’ unveiled
Illawara Mercury, 10 December 2012

Hobbit Face: Homo Floresiensis Researchers Reconstruct Facial Features Of Ancient Human
Huffington Post, 11 December 2012
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