Scientists reconstruct face of 9,000 year-old Greek teenager

The reconstructed face of ‘Dawn’, a young woman who lived around 7,000 BC in a cave in Greece, is displayed during a presentation at the Acropolis museum in Athens, Greece, January 19, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 24 January 2018
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Scientists reconstruct face of 9,000 year-old Greek teenager

ATHENS: The last time anyone looked on Dawn’s face was 9,000 years ago.
Now the teenager can be seen again, after scientists reconstructed her face to show what people looked like in the Mesolithic period, around 7,000 BC. But she doesn’t look happy.
Dawn is believed to be aged between 15 to 18 based on an analysis of her bones and teeth. She has a protruding jaw, thought to be caused by chewing on animal skin to make it into soft leather — a common practice among people of that era — and a scowling expression.
Asked why she looked angry, orthodontics professor Manolis Papagrikorakis, who created a silicone reconstruction of her face from a terracotta mold of her head, joked: “It’s not possible for her not to be angry during such an era.”
Dawn was possibly anaemic and may have suffered from scurvy, the researchers said. Evidence also pointed to hip and joint problems, which may have made it difficult for her to move and may have contributed to her death.
Discovered in a cave in 1993, the girl was named Avgi — Greek for Dawn — because she lived during what is considered to be the dawn of civilization.
Theopetra Cave, in the Thessaly region, was first inhabited about 100,000 years ago, according to the Culture Ministry. Stone tools from the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods have been discovered, as well as pottery from the Neolithic period.
Dawn is on display at the Acropolis Museum in Athens.


No politics please for Baghdad bikers aiming to unite Iraq

Updated 21 January 2019
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No politics please for Baghdad bikers aiming to unite Iraq

  • The Iraq Bikers — who now number 380 — are men of all ages, social classes and various faiths
  • With his black bandana and goatee, the leader of the Baghdad pack, known as “Captain,” looks the epitome of the American biker-outlaw

BAGHDAD: Roaring along Baghdad’s highways, the “Iraq Bikers” are doing more than showing off their love of outsized motorcycles and black leather: they want their shared enthusiasm to help heal Iraq’s deep sectarian rifts.
Weaving in and out of traffic, only the lucky few ride Harley Davidsons — a rare and expensive brand in Iraq — while others make do with bikes pimped-up to look something like the “Easy Rider” dream machines.
“Our goal is to build a brotherhood,” said Bilal Al-Bayati, 42, a government employee who founded the club in 2012 with the aim of improving the image of biker gangs and to promote unity after years of sectarian conflict.
That is why the first rule of his bikers club is: you do not talk about politics.
“It is absolutely prohibited to talk politics among members,” Bayati told Reuters as he sat with fellow bikers in a shisha cafe, a regular hangout for members.
“Whenever politics is mentioned, the members are warned once or twice and then expelled. We no longer have the strength to endure these tragedies or to repeat them,” he said, referring to sectarian violence.
With his black bandana and goatee, the leader of the Baghdad pack, known as “Captain,” looks the epitome of the American biker-outlaw.
But while their style is unmistakably US-inspired — at least one of Bayati’s cohorts wears a helmet emblazoned with the stars and stripes — these bikers fly the Iraqi flag from the panniers of their machines.
The Iraq Bikers — who now number 380 — are men of all ages, social classes and various faiths. One of their most recent events was taking part in Army Day celebrations.
Some are in the military, the police and even the Popular Mobilization Forces, a grouping of mostly Shiite militias which have taken part in the fight to oust Islamic State from Iraq in the last three years.
“It is a miniature Iraq,” said member Ahmed Haidar, 36, who works with an international relief agency.
But riding a chopper through Baghdad is quite different from Route 101. The bikers have to slow down at the many military checkpoints set up around the city to deter suicide and car bomb attacks.
And very few can afford a top bike.
“We don’t have a Harley Davidson franchise here,” said Kadhim Naji, a mechanic who specializes in turning ordinary motorbikes into something special.
“So what we do is we alter the motorbike, so it looks similar ... and it is cheaper.”