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Brazilians Reconstitute Pre-Inca Face

10/04/2016 - 12h33

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PHILLIPPE WATANABE
FROM SÃO PAULO

A cadaver rests upon a gold plate. The body is next to a helmet in the shape of a half-moon.

Inside the tomb, two guards are still present, buried together with the skeleton. This is the Lord of Sipán, a ruler of a pre-Inca Peruvian civilization. The remains of the ruler were discovered in 1987.

Paulo Miamoto, Professor of Dentistry at São Leopoldo Mandic College and Cícero Moraes, Vice-Coordinator of Ebrafol (Brazilian Forensic Anthropology and Forensic Dentistry Team), were able to reconstruct the physical appearance of the ruler as it would have been in 3D using only a smartphone and its processing power.

By studying the skeleton it was possible to determine, for example, that they were dealing with a male between the ages of 35 and 50 years old. The remains are being kept in the archaeological collection at the Tumbas Reais de Sipán Museum, in Lambayeque, Peru.

When we think of rulers of pre-modern state ages, it is possible to envision bloody deaths, conspiracies for the throne and betrayals. However, at least the physical violence part was not a factor in the death of the Lord of Sipán, although the exact cause is unknown.

The cranium ended up being crushed by the effects over time of the weight of the accumulated soil upon the tomb. In addition to the historic motivation the digital reconstruction of the cranium had another objective.

"When a skeleton is found that nobody is looking for, someone could recognize the reconstruction of the face and make contact", said Miamoto.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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