Nerja (Málaga), (EFE) and now, thanks to 3D and artificial intelligence, it has come back to life in the city’s museum.
The Cueva de Nerja Foundation has carried out a facial reconstruction of ‘Pepita’, as the skeleton of this prehistoric young woman was “affectionately” baptized, which after a long technological procedure has come to life virtually in the Nerja Museum, where the remains are exhibited, so that the public can see what it was like and interact with it.
The skeleton was found in 1982 in the Torca Room of the Cueva de Nerja during the archaeological excavations directed by Professor Manuel Pellicer. It is a very unique piece, since it is one of the best preserved Epipaleolithic skeletons in Europe.
“It is the most emblematic piece of the Museum of Nerja”, highlighted this Wednesday the director of the center, Juan Bautista Salado, who celebrated that new technologies have allowed “Pepita” to “return to contemporary life”.
The study of its skeleton has been one of the main objectives of the Cueva de Nerja Foundation over the years, since it is not usual for remains of more than 9,900 years to show such optimal conservation.
Recent work has focused on determining what his face could be like in life, and today the results have been shown.
This was “Pepita” from Nerja
The ‘Pepita’ that has been revived in the Nerja Museum has dark skin, curly black hair, light eyes, a voluminous nose and a protruding jaw. Its skull is long and very narrow, and its eye sockets are very close together.
It is estimated that the young woman died around the age of 19 and that she measured around 150 centimeters, lower than the average for her sex. Her diet was based on the majority consumption of meat and gathered plant foods.
‘Pepita’ has very graceful bones and had weak muscles, so it does not seem that she had made great physical efforts, explained Carmen Román, one of the specialists who has worked on her study and facial reconstruction.
The study of the muscular insertions and the length of the bones of the left arm have revealed that she was left-handed and that she suffered a severe infection in her left ear, which left a scar on her skull.
The cause of death cannot be determined exactly, but it is statistically most likely that she died from complications of childbirth or during the postpartum period.
Technology at the service of History
The image of ‘Pepita’ can now be seen on a touch screen at the Nerja Museum, where for the first time facial reconstruction is combined with artificial intelligence, making it a national benchmark in high technology applied to museography. , has pointed out the sub-delegate of the Government in Malaga and president of the Cueva de Nerja Foundation, Javier Salas.
Endowed with artificial intelligence, ‘Pepita’ can interact with the public and answer their questions. Today she has been asked several of her, such as how old she is: “I am 10,000 years old,” she replied.
They have also asked him the name of the Government sub-delegate in Malaga. “José María López”, he has answered this time, erroneously. “He has to learn, as you can see”, Javier Salas joked.
To reach this final result, a long procedure has been carried out that began with the modeling of the skull of the piece by scanning and processing it in 3D. Once this first step is done, the skull is imported into an animation program for its facial approximation.
For the reconstruction of ‘Pepita”s face, the most reliable anthropological protocols have been used to obtain the basic morphology, and thanks to another computer program, the final modeling has been given, which has served as the basis for its subsequent rendering and digitization. EFE