The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2012)


Virtual reconstruction of the Lake Mungo 3 skull

MARCIA S. PONCE DE LEÓN1, ARTHUR C. DURBAND2, MICHAEL C. WESTAWAY3 and CHRISTOPH P. E. ZOLLIKOFER1.

1Anthropological Institute and Museum, University of Zurich, 2Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, Texas Tech University, 3Cultures and Histories Program, Queensland Museum South Bank, South Brisbane, Australia

Saturday 10:45-11:00, Grand Ballroom II Add to calendar

Lake Mungo 3 is one of the earliest human skeletons in Australia. While this individual was discovered relatively intact and was recovered during a controlled excavation, the remains are fragmentary. Specifically, the skull, which appears to be fairly intact in published photographs of the in situ burial, is incomplete and suffers from relatively poor preservation of the face. Here we present the first virtual reconstruction of the Lake Mungo 3 skull, which was derived from high resolution computed tomography scans of the preserved craniomandibular remains. The morphology of the reconstructed Lake Mungo 3 skull is similar to the morphology of the Lake Mungo 1 cranium. Lake Mungo 3 is compared to a worldwide sample of modern human skulls, and the observations from its new reconstruction have implications for the initial peopling of Australia and the origins and evolution of modern humans in the region.

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