Monday, 24 January 2011

Facial Reconstruction of an 11 year old female resident of Athens 430 BC, Angle Orthodontist, Jan 2011.

A relatively recent excavation at the site of Keramikos which was a burial ground for the ancient city of Athens, there was an interesting discovery that saw the light of dawn.
The skull at the picture on the left is of a female speculated to be around the age of 11 years. The skull dates back to 430 BC, when during the Peloponnessian war and the siege of Spartans to Athens, there was a large plague, that killed several athenians.
The skull provides clues of that period concerning the plague. Also suprisingly well preserved is the dentition of this young girl. All teeth of the upper and lower jaw are completelly intact and as such this archeological finding is of major interest to the dental scientific world.

The girl was given the name Myrtis by the archeologists.

At you can find a lot of information also in english about this finding, but please note that the website is still under construction.

Two publications among others that are of orthodontic relevance are made at the Angle Orthodontist journal. Both of them are with a free access pdf file for anyone interested to download. Corresponding author of both articles is Dr Pagrigorakis MJ.

From the dental pictures below we can see that the girl is slightly late in eruption of the upper canines as there is a persistence of the milk canines on both sides. The 13 and 23 are erupting buccal and ectopic.
Also the second premolars on the upper are erupting, while at the lower the right 1st premolar is at a distal tipping position, and the mandibular arch presents spacing posteriorly.


The girl is presented with an Angle Class II molar relationship, and an increased upper incisor inclination which is giving an increased overjet and is as such dysplastic.

During the years following the excavation of this skull a team of experts has undergone the time consuming process of reconstructing the face of that young girl. The technique followed is the known as Manchester technique, and it consists of pins that are determining the "depth" of the tissues placed in several regions of interest at the skull. This along with the muscles, ears, eyes, nose, and mouth give a remarkable result.

The pictures speak for themselves.

The skull underwent a CT scan and a 3D printing replica was produced. There after with the technique mentioned above the tissues were reconstructed in layers.

The result shows a retrognathic face due to mainly maxillary protrusion and also an increase of the lower face height.

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