Saturday, March 31, 2007
This article from LiveScience.com gives a good example of the techniques, theories, and controversies surrounding the reconstruction of the faces of human ancestors (or at least early relations) from fossils. The question at hand concerns a Kenyan skull, 1.9 million years old, which startled anthropologists when it was found in 1972. The skull, KNM-ER 1470, received the name Homo rudolfensis. Its owner was originally was thought to have a modern-looking flat face (it would be the earliest appearance of such a face, by far, in the fossil record), but some scientists now argue it appeared more apelike.