Meet the First European
Forensic artist reconstructs face of first modern human found in Europe
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted May 5, 2009 3:09 AM CDT
A forensic artist's clay recreation of the face of the first European is based on a partial skull and jawbone discovered in a Romanian cave.   (Richard Nieve/BBC)

(Newser) – Meet the first modern European. His face—or hers, as researchers have been unable to determine the sex—was reconstructed by a forensic artist based on a partial skull and jawbone discovered in a Romanian cave. The facial features linked to the 35,000-year-old bones recall the continent's immediate African ancestors, reports the Guardian. Scientists speculate the skin color was darker than present-day Europeans.

"It's really quite bizarre. I look at that face and think 'Gosh, I'm actually looking at the face of somebody from 40,000 years ago,' and there's something weirdly moving about that," said a British anthropologist. The face was reconstructed for a BBC special on the origins of man.