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Peruvian Priestess Reincarnated

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posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 09:04 PM

Looks like science has done it again. We can see what a beautiful and powerful woman looked like way back from centuries ago. Facial reconstruction is fascinating to me, the long work and artistry involved is staggering.

The reconstructed face of a high ruling Peruvian priestess has been unveiled by researchers from Utah Valley University.

They revealed the reconstruction during a presentation at the Bruning Museum in Lambayeque, Peru.

'This was probably one of the most powerful people in Lambayeque 800 years ago, so she was a central person in the political and religious structure,' said Haagen Klaus one of the project's land researchers.

'This (facial reconstruction) takes an average of five or six months of hard work from our colleagues at Utah Valley University.
Full Article

I find it so amazing how we can recreate what they looked like. I find it even easier to imagine their day to day lives when looking at a 3d rendition of their appearances. The fact that it is a facial reconstruction makes it even better.

This beautiful woman was originally unearthed at the Chotuna-Chornancap archaeological digs near the Peruvian city of Chiclayo, in eary April of 2012.

The bundle of her possessions found in this tomb at the palace where she undoubtedly lived, together with the remains of another seven individuals, a llama, and “a quantity of really impressive goods in terms of quality and technology,” all point to the high social standing she enjoyed in her lifetime.

Also found beside her remains were “ceremonial urns bearing revealing icons and objects including a golden sceptre with the image of a Lambayeque divinity, items she used during her life that testify to her prominence.”

“This is all extraordinary information for us because it clearly places the woman within the power structure of a complex society, and reveals that power and religious hierarchy were not the sole province of men, since there is no reason to think there were not more women just like her,”
Full Article

The Lambayeque culture also reffered to as the Sican culture settled down in the north coast, Poma was its cultural center (Batán Grande), located in Lambayeque.

The nation was organized religiously, and its trace in the history gets lost associated to a great drought that lasted more than 30 years.

They had a great domain of agriculture and metallurgy. This culture is famous for the big discoveries in Batán Grande of gold objects, and evidence of arsenic-copper (alloys of several copper mixtures and arsenic that can be described as a brass type) for what is attributed to be the precursor of the brass age in the north of Peru. They produced alloys of gold, silver and arsenic-copper in unprecedented scales in the pre-Hispanic America.

Remains found in the archaeological locations have determined that this nation maintained commercial exchange with populations from Ecuador (shells and snails); Colombia (emeralds and amber) to the north; with Chile (blue stone) to the south, and seeds of gold extracted in the basin from the Marañón River to the east.

Their funerary practices were given by their great organization and distribution of mortuary offerings that include tombs in vertical wells of 20 m. depth.
More info on the Sican/Lambayeque culture:Link

About Facial Reconstruction

When skeletal remains are found, and the victim remains unidentified after traditional means of identification fail, investigators may call upon the forensic artist to utilize the three-dimensional facial reconstruction technique. The three-dimensional process is initiated by placing the skull on a workable stand, where the skull can easily be tilted and turned in all directions. The skull must be positioned in the Frankfort Horizontal position. By utilizing proper tissue depth data determined by race, gender, and age. Artificial eyes are placed in the skull’s eye sockets, centered and at the proper depth. The tissue markers are glued directly onto the skull. Clay will be systematically applied directly on the skull, following the skull's contours; paying strict attention to the applied tissue markers. Various measurements are made, and logged, to determine nose thickness/length, mouth thickness/width, and eye placement. Information such as geographic location of where the deceased lived, his or her lifestyle, and the various information provided to the artist by the Forensic Anthropologist and other professionals, is heavily relied upon when completing the reconstruction. Hair is accomplished by means of a wig, or by applying clay to represent hair. Various items (props), such as glasses, clothing, hats, etc. may be applied to better accentuate the features of the individual. Upon completion, the sculpture is photographed. All procedures are documented and working notes collected. When executed properly, this technique is proven to have a high success rate.
Full Article

I find all this intriguing, to say the least. It is not monumental news but figured I would add it to the ATS collective since it is new, somewhat obscure news. Thanks for checking it out.

edit on 12/16/2012 by mcx1942 because: edited a bit

posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 09:10 PM
Fantastic thread!

Thanks for the info! It's amazing what science can do!

I've always wondered what people from back then looked like- as in the genes they possessed and common facial structures etc!

posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 09:14 PM
A well deserved S&F, and a nice find. Facial reconstruction is still young, but an awesome tool. It will be nice when they get this perfected to the point a computer can do it within minutes, or maybe even seconds, after scanning around the skull.

Thanks for something different and interesting.

posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 09:36 PM
I JUST saw within the last week on one of the TV shows...they were saying that when you see a dinosaur --how it looks and the color and all, it's all just a guess. It was really an interesting show. They did alot of experiments where they presented the bones of some animals and had scientists and artists do a rendering and they were so far off on what the real animal looked like. And they said the same thing when trying to render humans using the current software --UNLESS there are hand drawings to model from.

If they have no drawings, or carvings or anything on a particular subject, they simply cannot prove, one way or another, many features of dinosaurs, animals, as well as humans. Like a couple of the scientists & artists said, the people love finality, that's why, say on the History Channel, in some shows they just can't wait to put a disclaimer that says something like, "It is now possible through scientific animation software what President Lincoln would have looked like," or, "We can now, because of the latest in animation software, take you in what a Roman Bath House would have looked like," etc.

Like the priestess here, things like the eyebrows, cheek bones, shape of the nose and chin, eyelashes, skin tones on cheeks, under the eyes, color of eyes --everything, is just a guess. Ear rings? Come on. Unless there's documentation she wore those exact ones, there's no evidence she was even pierced.

But, it's an art form I guess. Interpretation is 9/10's of the jaw, lol.

posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 09:41 PM
reply to post by mcx1942

That's awsome, very good post
It's nice to be able to put a face to the past. I would really like to see such reconstructions done some of the other peoples of the region. From my reading its clear that there were multiple ethnicities in south America, it was much more diverse ethnically than we currently acknowledge.

posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 09:51 PM
reply to post by OneNationUnder

Facial reconstruction is not "art" there are very basic relationships between muscle structures and skeletal morphology that all humans fall into. There is some artistic licence with regards to such intangible things SA skin color and body fat percentages, but beyond that I will say that reconstruction is accurate.
But as I mentioned in the previous post ancient south America was very very diverse ethnically.
As far the adornments they are the grave goods she was buried with, not just pulled out of thin air.

posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 08:48 AM
She almost looks Native American. I guess technically South American natives and North American natives are the same if you go back far enough though.

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