Researchers to successfully recreate the brain of a child from 17,000 years ago


For the very first time in the realm of science, a group of researchers will be able to recreate the brain of a child who lived 17,000 years ago. The antediluvian ‘historical’ person in question here pertains to a boy who unfortunately met his demise at the age of 10-12 years. His skull was discovered at the site of Grotta del Romit (Cave of Romito), Italy – a location which is known to have housed human populations from around 10,000 to 23,000 years ago.

Interestingly enough, the success of this reconstruction process pretty much hinged on the fact that the specimen was of a child. That is because from the biological perspective, the growth of the brain leads to pressure being created on the inside of the skull. Now in the case of a child, the skull bone is still soft, which rather facilitates the creation of a specific imprint of the brain exterior (with its particular pattern of convoluted ridges and grooves) on the inside of the skull.


Prehistoric graffiti inside Grotta del Romito.

And the rest as they say is…technology. With the help of 3D scanners and related CAD techs, the scientists were able to create an accurate 3D model of the 17,000 year old brain. And now studying its various physical attributes will allow experts (ranging from paleontologists, anthropologists to neuroscientists) to make a comparative analysis between the brains of a modern child and a young hunter-gatherer from the late Paleolithic era.

Simply put, the scientists could focus on the specific regions of the brain model that correspond to mental and behavioral capacities. These faculties include social interaction, spatial coordination and language – thus alluding to a scope where the researchers could predict and pinpoint the progression and development of our ancestors in terms of their ‘brain’. In any case, it should be noted that the modern human (Homo sapiens) already emerged from around 200,000 years ago. Furthermore the most significant parcel of prehistory pertains to the Upper Paleolithic period around 50,000 years ago – when modern humans were finally able to make their progression from survivability to adaptability with developed parameters like language, music and culture.

Source: The Local

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