November 15, 2010

Reconstruction of 2,500 year old Carthaginian

Racial Reality points me to this reconstruction. From the related story:
An anthropological study of the skeleton showed that the man died between the age of 19 and 24, had a pretty robust physique and was 1.7 metres (five feet six inches) tall, according to a description by Jean Paul Morel, director of the French archaeological team at Carthage Byrsa.

...

"We can clearly see that this exceptional witness to Carthage in the Punic era is a Mediterranean man, he has all the characteristics," noted Sihem Roudesli, a paleo-anthropologist at the Tunisian National Heritage Institute.

14 comments:

Jack said...

Does not look like an average modern Tunisian.
I wonder if it's because the population changed, the guy was from Lebanon, a slave or they simply made up most of racial features.

Ponto said...

I often wonder how they come to the conclusions about people's actual hair type, skin tone and eye color from a skeleton.

Maybe they should do a number of reconstructions with different types of hair form, coverage, color variations and for skin tone and eye color. Modern Mediterranean Europeans, North Africans and Lebanese Levantines have a range of "Mediterranean" tones and phenotypes.

I was thinking that people looking at that would think: Modern Maltese people, but the nose shape, that hair type and the longish face are not really Maltese characteristics.

Nice to see an Ancient brought back to the living.

Kepler said...

I wonder if there are some open competitions among "reconstruction specialists" based on new skulls.
Right now you can probably use skulls from living people: use a tomograph, produce a copy of the skull in plastic or another material and then give the skull-copy to 10 different teams, who will try to find out how the person looks like. After some weeks they all come and show up their reconstruction and the organizers show the real person. That would be fun and would let us laymen see how good they really are.
Is there something like this?

Jack said...

I read the article and now I understand!
The reconstruction shows a guy who is half French.
I thought there was something familiar in those eyes.
PS Sorry, couldn't help it.

Kepler said...

:-) That was a good one.

Creative said...

Know idea if this individual had a common look upon Phoenicians. But nevertheless this reconstruction gives me a strong Middle Eastern vibe.Especially the nose and the tight-fitting eyes.

Compare "him" with this Bedouin from South Arabia with similar traits.
http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/980/beduo.jpg

Gioiello said...

I think that this individual derives his traits from a “race” found firstly in Russia 30,000 years ago and belonging to mtDNA U2. These traits are common in Italy (some ancient Roman faces, some masks like Pulcinella), in fact haplogroup U2 from Russia has the closest to it in Italy. Of course we find these characteristics all around the Mediterranean Sea but also in Middle East to India. I don’t know if you know the football player Ibrahimovic, from Serbia/Croatia but perhaps with some Rom extraction. We find these characteristics also in what we consider the stereotype “Semite”. As we see in the “Global similarities” on 23andME we all in South Europe, Anatolia, Middle East, Iran are very close, with only a little percentage of differentiation.

Kepler said...

Are people in the Mediterranean area really closer than, say, Northern Europeans among each other? That was not the impression I had from what I read from Cavalli-Sforza's Genes, Peoples, and Languages

(Kepler running for cover)

Aaron said...

Gioello, the early South Europeans probably looked *more* like Salvatore Giunta than the man in the reconstruction. Moreover the mesolithic S Europeans were probably well over 6 feet tall - not 5"6. While the reconstruction has aquiline features, they are considerably more than the average European - even more so than John Lennon who has one of the most aquiline noses I have seen. I think the aquiline feature came later, and still was unlikely as pronounced as the man in the photo. To be honest, I've only seen this shape of nose in some West Asians and Indians. Otherwise, the shape of the rest of his face is pretty common.

Annie Mouse said...

If I had to guess I woul dhave said half Italian half Turkish (the nose).

Annie Mouse said...

If I had to guess I woul dhave said half Italian half Turkish (the nose).

Fanty said...

"I often wonder how they come to the conclusions about people's actual hair type, skin tone and eye color from a skeleton."

Lots of speculation.

When I see these criminal science documentations, they all the time explain it like this:

- Estamination of age, race and gender by the shape of the skull/teeth/bones.

- Skintone, eye-color, hair color just guessed, based on the agreed race.

- Flesh, bases on the AVERAGE that people of the estaminated race/age/gender have.

- hairstyle is tried to be done as neutral as possible. But is influenced by estaminated race/age/gender.

Thats what they do with modern day murder victims.

And I recall cases, where they totaly sucked. Like in this case with a white, male, child that was reconstructed as a native american, female child. Ha ha ha ha

(and the new reconstruction did not look anything like the old one. Even through both teams worked with the same skull. But with different estaminated race and genders. ;-)

Ponto said...

The dead man is not from the Mesolithic, so whatever Mesolithic humans, hunting or gathering or fishing about the Mediterranean Basin, looked like is not relevant. I doubt in any case that Mesolithic men anywhere in Europe were anywhere near 1.83 m tall. Even the Old Man of Cro Magnon, a Paleolithic Man, was not that tall. His height was over estimated probably by people who wanted to find tall ancient humans living in Europe.

People of many different ethnic groups have a multitude of nose shapes. It would be simplistic to say someone has a West Asian nose or as in Nazi times, a "Semitic" one. The nose shape of deceased humans from skeletons can be estimated from the angles and shape of the openings of the nose cavity. So the nose is a reasonable estimate as to its length, and its downward pointing tip but whether it looked eagle beak like is speculation.

My observation was that the hair type, thickness, length and color is all speculative. Same with the skin tone. It may conform to quasi racist ideas of people's appearance now and in the past but it would be better to steer away from traits which have racist overtones. The man could have been pallid, florid, olive, swarthy or blackish in skin tone. He did live in North African near Europe. His hair could have been so sparse as for him to be bald. Yes there are bald young men. I just find that whole aspect of reconstructions tainted by racist speculation, and frankly disgusting.

DagoRed said...

I believe that this kind of practice is intended to demonstrate that there is a direct link between the ancient population of the current one. For this reason, the choice of skin and hair tone of the guy was made in reference to modern modern Tunisians.
http://snipurl.com/1gx6hh