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The expressive face of human history on display

Italian exhibit fleshes out hominid skulls

11:00am, March 24, 2015
exhibit at the University of Padua

ABOUT FACES  In addition to seeing reconstructed visages from the past, visitors at the University of Padua’s Faces exhibit can look at facial casts and other tools of anthropology.

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One bust depicts a gaunt-faced man with a beaked nose and angular chin. Nearby, another has rounded cheeks and a softer nose and chin. But the two faces were both created based on the skull of one man, St. Anthony of Padua.

The gaunt face, a reconstruction made 20 years ago, is closer to how St. Anthony appears in religious artwork. The rounder face was created in late 2013 by a team of archaeologists and 3-D modelers from Italy and Brazil. The group, called Arc-Team, used updated computer modeling techniques and drew on forensic data from organizations such as the FBI about how muscles fit to human skulls.

The two busts form part of the exhibit “Faces: The Many Visages of Human History” at the University of Padua in Italy. The exhibit showcases how facial reconstruction sharpens anthropologists’ image of humanity

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