The Perak Man, a 10,000-year-old remains found in 1990 in Lenggong Valley, finally has a face.
A team at Universiti Sains Malaysia has used virtual 3D modelling techniques to produce a facial representation of the centuries-old Perak Man.
He is believed to have died 10,000-11,000 years ago during the antiquity era and researchers hypothesise that he was highly respected as he was buried in the middle of the highest cave in Lenggong and was the only person buried in that location.
As much of his skull was retrieved, scientists were able to scan and digitally reconstruct the skull before using modelling software to graft muscles, tendons and flesh onto the bones, which allowed them to generate the final image.
From their analysis, they found that Perak Man’s head was 1,204.91ml in size – smaller than the average modern capacity of 1,375.0ml, based on a study in Kelantan. Researchers believe this may indicate a physical handicap.
“He may have overcome his physical handicap by developing proficient hunting skills, or perhaps he rarely hunted and took on other tasks,” the researchers wrote in an editorial published in the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences.
“Based on his presumed status, Perak Man was likely a respected person in the group and perhaps a shaman and the most knowledgeable person in the group regarding survival, hunting, gathering and other aspects of Palaeolithic daily life.”
His head volume was also considerably smaller than those found in studies conducted overseas.