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Scientists have shown the face of the world's first man 300 thousand years after his death. Photo

Anna BoklajukNews
Realistic image created by researchers who reconstructed the skull of the oldest homo sapiens. Source: dailymail.co.uk

A team of scientists has recreated the face of the oldest human being. The discovery of this skull has changed our understanding of history, as experts have found that it is more than 300,000 years old.

The remains of Jebel Irhoud, named after the place in Morocco where it was found, have pushed back the Homo sapiens lineage by 100,000 years. Now, the face of our oldest known ancestor may be revealed to history after scientists reconstructed his likeness using the shape of the skull found, The Mirror reports. However, the true gender of the individual is unknown due to the absence of pelvic bones.

Scientists have shown the face of the world's first man 300 thousand years after his death. Photo

Brazilian graphics expert Cicero Moraes, who completed the recreation, described the resulting face as "strong and calm."

"First, I scanned the skull in 3D using data provided by researchers at the Max Planck Institute. I then proceeded with a face approximation that consisted of crossing several approaches, such as anatomical deformation. It uses the tomography of a modern human being, adapted so that the donor's skull becomes Jebel Irhoud's, and the deformation eventually led to the creation of a compatible face," the expert explained.

Scientists have shown the face of the world's first man 300 thousand years after his death. Photo

Further data from modern humans was used to predict soft tissue thickness and the likely projection of the nose and other facial structures.

"The final face is an interpolation of all this data that generates two groups of images, one objective, with more technical elements, no hair, and in grayscale, and the other artistic, with skin and hair pigmentation," Cicero added.

The donor data used was from an adult male with a low body mass index. Mr. Moraes said he decided to give the skeleton a male face to make the skull look more robust and masculine.

Scientists have shown the face of the world's first man 300 thousand years after his death. Photo

The skull itself is a collection of various fossils reconstructed into a single whole, which Cicero called "magnificent and perfectly consistent, anatomically speaking." According to the Max Planck Institute, Jebel Irhud has "a modern face and teeth, as well as a large but more archaic-looking brain case."

The fossils were first found in Jebel Irhoud in the 1960s but were initially estimated to be around 40,000 years old. Returning to this issue in the 1990s, scientists dated the bones to be between 100,000 and 200,000 years old. But in 2017, it was discovered that they were even older than they thought. This came to light after new methods were used to show that they were approximately 300,000 years old.

Speaking at the time, paleoanthropologist Jean-Jacques Hublin of the Max Planck Institute said: "We used to think that the cradle of humanity was 200,000 years ago in East Africa. But our new data show that Homo sapiens spread across the African continent around 300,000 years ago."

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