Scientists have recreated the visage of a Stone Age youngster who lived in Norway using DNA analysis and contemporary forensic procedures. The youngster from Viste, known as the Vistegutten, passed away at the age of 14. It appears he was healthy, therefore it’s unclear why he died at such a young age.
The young child was interred in the tiny Vistehola, a cave in southwest Norway that is a short distance north of Stavanger. Perhaps the same small cave in where his parents once resided.
According to Science in Norway, “he is the best-preserved person from the Stone Age in Norway.”
At the Museum of Archaeology in Stavanger, archeologist Sean Denham states, “I work with skeletons of ancient people most of the day.”
But it’s very different when I see a live person in front of me like this. Oscar Nilsson’s work on this latest rebuild is outstanding.
“Denham is particularly pleased that the museum, along with sculptor and archeologist Nilsson, has now succeeded in generating a greater interest in the Stone Age in Rogaland and Norway through this reproduction.
Nuts and fish
Researchers discovered the boy’s remains in 1907 while excavating Vistehola.
His height was a mere 125 cm.
New techniques in research have allowed the scientists to determine that the youngster has consumed an equal amount of food from the sea and the land. For those who lived near the beach in Jaeren, their food options included cod, seal, and wild boar. Nuts and shellfish were too.
Vistegutten was small, even for a Stone Age man. Male adults in Norway during the Stone Age were most likely between 165 and 170 centimeters tall. The women’s height ranged from 145 to 155 centimeters.
Strong bodies were a characteristic of both sexes, and Vistegutten is no exception. In Norway at the period, cheekbones and eyes were frequently highly noticeable features.
The boy had dark complexion, most likely.
Skin tone, hair type, and face shape
There was some confusion for a while about whether this was a boy or a girl. However, we can now conclude with confidence that Vistegutten was a boy according to DNA analysis, adds Denham.
Oscar Nilsson’s reconstruction is based on genetic data. It also expands upon a 2011 effort in which scientists at the University of Dundee in Scotland used a laser to scan Vistegutten’s skull and produce a three-dimensional model of his head.
According to Denham, “the DNA analysis that was done later tells us more about the shape of his head.” Regarding the color of his eyes, hair, and complexion, we are a little less confident. Thus, we must rely on the further evidence of Stone Age Norwegians that we have.
In the Old Stone Age, life expectancy was not particularly high. This was mostly brought on by the high number of infant deaths. It was common for humans to live to be over 50 years old when they first became adults.
The reason for Vistegutten’s early death is unknown.