Face reconstruction of a girl who lived in the 5th century B.C. in Athens

The exhibition: Myrtis: Face to face with the Past, will be open to the public on the 15th of April, in the Museum of Natural History Goulandris in Athens, Greece. The visitors will have the opportunity to “meet” a girl from the 5th century BC, dressed in a linen dress, designed by Sophia Kokosalaki, and shortly after the exhibition will be transferred in various cities in Greece and abroad.
The 11-year-old Myrtis, a girl who lived in Athens, during the Pericles era, died of typhoid fever, as hundreds of Athenians, victims of the plague in Athens, the epidemic pestilence that decimated 1/3 of the town’s citizens.

The cranium of the girl was found in 1994, along with the bones of 150 other people, during the excavation works for the Metro in Kerameikos. The cranium is in reasonably good condition and this led the Assistant Professor in Orthodontics, of the University of Athens, Manolis Papagrigorakis to reconstruct the face, in collaboration with other scientists. The archaeologists named little “Myrtis” and according to scientific data, she had brown hair, like most people at the time, but a laboratory test needs to be performed on her DNA to identify other characteristics of the girl.
The model of her face has been created by sculptor Oscar Nilsson in Sweden, an artist who recreated the face of Phillip the II.
The exhibition will present all findings from the mass tomb which came to light through the excavation of Efi Baziotopoulou-Valavanis, a tomb dated around 430-426 BC and is related to an epidemic that affected the defeat of Athens, during the Peloponnesian War.


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