17,000 year old brain of Palaeolithic child recreated


Share post:

The discovery of a 17,000-year-old skull in southern Italy has allowed a team of scientists to accurately recreate the brain of mans’ ancient ancestors for the very first time.

17,000 year old brain of Palaeolithic child recreated
The skull was found in Calabria’s Grotta del Romito 
[Credit: Twitter/Comunicarebene]

The skull belonged to boy of between 10 and 12 years old and was found in Calabria’s Grotta del Romito, a cave used by homo sapiens between 23,000 and 10,000 years ago.

It is precisely the young age of the skull which has allowed scientists to recreate an ancient brain.

“The boy was still growing and therefore the bones of his skull were quite soft,” explained Fabio Martini, a professor of ancient history at the University of Florence.

“The pressure of the growing brain on the bone left a sort of ‘imprint’ on the inside of the skull. Now, thanks to 3D scanners and computer technology, we have been able to create a reliable 3D model of an ancient brain, which is groundbreaking,” Martini added.

“Soon we will be able to hold in our hands the brain of a 17,000-year-old boy.”

17,000 year old brain of Palaeolithic child recreated
An ancient graffito at Romito showing a bull 
[Credit: Huston/WikiCommons]

The extraordinary ability to reconstruct the brain gives anthropologists, paleontologists and neuroscientists the opportunity to directly compare the brain of a young hunter-gatherer with the brain of a modern child.

“It will allow us to look at the development of different areas of the organ, such as the language centre and see how they developed.”

In looking at areas of the brain responsible for things like social interaction, spatial coordination and language, scientists hope to shed new light on the lives our ancestors led.

The Paleolithic site at the Grotta del Romito, is one of the most important Paleolithic sites in Europe and has so far revealed a series of dwellings, graffiti and graves, which have proven central to the understanding of Italy’s human history before the agricultural revolution.

Source: The Local [July 08, 2016]



Related articles

Bigger brains led to bigger bodies in our ancestors

New research suggests that humans became the large-brained, large-bodied animals we are today because of natural selection to...

More ‘losers’ than ‘winners’ predicted for Southern Ocean seafloor animals

A new study of the marine invertebrates living in the seas around Antarctica reveals there will be more...

China deposits point to cause of Earth’s deadliest extinction

University of Cincinnati professor Thomas J. Algeo, working with a team of Chinese scientists, has established a tight...

Historic Greek bridge washed out by flood waters

The adverse weather conditions in the past few days, with torrential rain and gale-force winds, have caused serious...

Fossils reveal ancient Australian shrublands in fiery landscape

New fossil evidence shows that Australia's fire-prone shrubland open vegetation originated at least 70 million years ago --...

Beams of electrons link Saturn with its moon Enceladus

Data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft have revealed that Enceladus, one of Saturn's diminutive moons, is linked to Saturn...

Chimpanzees shed light on origins of human walking

A research team led by Stony Brook University investigating human and chimpanzee locomotion have uncovered unexpected similarities in...

Peruvian geoglyphs and pyramid astronomically aligned

An ancient astronomical alignment in southern Peru has been discovered by researchers between a pyramid, two stone lines...