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News > Latin America

1,600 Year Old Indigenous Woman of Uruguay To Be Recreated

  • Forensice three dimensional image of the Woman of K'anamarka

    Forensice three dimensional image of the Woman of K'anamarka | Photo: Cicero Moraes

Published 25 October 2018

Brazilian expert in prosthetic reconstruction to create bust of 1,600-year-old Woman of K'anamarka from her remains excavated in Uruguay. 

A Brazilian expert in facial reconstruction is set to recreate the bust of an ancient Indigenous woman being called Woman of K'anamarka whose remains were excavated in a burial ground in Uruguay using the help of 3-D digital images produced by the National Archives of 3D Images.

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Brazilian scientist and designer, Cicero Moraes, internationally renowned for his forensic facial reconstruction, will recreate the bust of a 45-year-old woman native which will be put on display at the XIV Latin American Congress of Maxillofacial Rehabilitation (BMF) to take place Nov. 20-23 in Punta del Este, Uruguay. Moraes will also present his work on the design and manufacture of human prostheses for cancer victims.

The skeleton of the woman was found in the eastern region of Uruguay, being buried in a "Cerrito de Indios" mound, buried some 1,600 years ago.

Throughout his 35 year career, Moraes has been commissioned to make nearly 60 skull reconstructions of historical and religious figures, as well as for evolutionary reconfigurations for Peru and Italy among other countries. In addition, he has made six human and 11 veterinary prostheses, including a beak for a toucan, and turtle shells.

"To make both human and veterinary prosthetics we use the techniques of 3D printing, which allows us to perform simpler, safer and faster work," he said. Moraes adds that he’ll be able to produce the bust of the Uruguay woman in a matter of days.

He tells the media in Uruguay: "I print the face in three dimensions, and based on that (I) make a negative, inflate the negative with silicone, make a pigmentation with the same color of the skin. This becomes the eyes, the nose, the ears, and other parts," Moraes explains.

The Brazilian designer says these techniques can be used in medicine and archeology.

Moraes is working closely with Uruguay’s National Archives of 3D Images, one of the first of its kind in the world that has already created three-dimensional portraits of five of its past presidents.

"Through the three-dimensional scanning, we seek to generate a digital heritage of great patrimonial, cultural and educational value", says the website of the initiative.

This archaeological project was led by Agustina Fernández Raggio of the 3D archives, the University of the Republic, and the Museum of Pre-Columbian and Indigenous Art (MAPI).

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