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Museum of Human Evolution in Spain presents a sculpture representing Homo Antecessor
Visitors walk past a new sculpture of representing Homo Antecessor by the French paleo-artist, Elizabeth Daynes in the chamber of evolution at the Museum of Human Evolution (MEH) on July 30, 2014 in Burgos, near the archaeological site of Atapuerca. The sculpture is so far considered to be a reproduction of the first settler of Europe who lived some 900,000 years. AFP PHOTO / CESAR MANSO.

Translated by: Cristina Perez Ayala

BURGOS.- The Museum of Human Evolution (MEH) in Spain has presented the new sculpture of Homo ‘antecessor’, made by the French paleo-artist Elizabeth Daynes, which has been added to another nine reproductions of many other species that represent the long and complex road to human evolution, represented in the Hominid Gallery of the Museum. This sculpture arrives four years after the inauguration of the Museum and has been made by the same author of the other figurines in the Gallery.

The sculpture of the antecessor’s head is based on the jawbone ATD6-69, which belonged to a boy or girl of approximately 10 years. This fossil was complimented with a frontal bone (ATD6-15), which might have been from the same individual; both provide a very plausible idea of the facial aspect of the adolescent Homo antecessor. To compliment these bones, they added the left mandible ATD6-96 of a very young woman. With this data, and the drawings made by Mauricio Anton (sketcher and anatomist), they have been able to reconstruct the head of the Homo antecessor.

Also, scientific work in this area allowed investigators to find out that the face of this new species is very similar to ours. The size of the brain and the cranium’s head are still a mystery. However, employing indirect measurements of the frontal bone, investigators were able to find out that the cranium held a brain superior to 1000 centimeters cubed.

The following step was sculpting the body of said adolescent and finding out his stature and proportions, which was resolved with the aid of finely conserved remains of the post cranial skeleton and investigations developed by the team, and thus allowing the artist to get a clear idea of the stature, robustness, characteristics of its extremities, and the cranium’s shape.

The final result is the sculpture that is shown today, precisely in the 20th anniversary of the discovery of the Homo antecessor in the Gran Dolina de la Trinchera de la Sierra de Atapuerca site by Aurora Martin, MEH coordinator.

Elizabeth Daynes is an international artist, presented as a paleo-artist or pre Historic sculptor. Her passionate work consists of “finding the identity of men in the past” through the found fossil remains, direct contact with investigators and using forensic techniques. This allows her to make sculptures of significant realism without losing the scientific rigor, thanks to distinct artistic differences such as: using silicones, natural hair and false eyes and such. Her reconstructions can be found in many international museums.





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