Antrocom nonprofit organization patronises the exhibit FACES. The Many Visages of Human History, which is held in the exhibition halls of the University Centre for Museums in Padua from February 14 to June 14, 2015.
The exhibition is the natural continuation of the Taung Project that, among other activities, also produced the reconstruction of the face of Saint Anthony, which has had great resonance among national and international media.
The faces tell our identity and our history: a personal story, but also the evolutionary history of our species. The face is anatomy, physics, physiology; but it is also a symbol, culture and interpretation.
The aim of the exhibition is to tell the various meanings that a face has and can acquire, thanks to finds and three-dimensional reconstructions of great visual impact. The scientific direction and supervision of the exposure are committed to Telmo Pievani and Nicola Carrara, while the three-dimensional and technological fulfilments are entrusted to Arc-Team and Cicero Moraes.
It is indeed a very special event that does not stop at mere display of artifacts, but it is a moment of reflection on forensic techniques used for the reconstruction of the face and on their scientific methodology. A moment that takes advantage of the most modern information technologies of modelling and sculptural development, with tests based on tomographies and original casts.
The exhibition seeks to reflect on the problems of management, usability and preservation of artifacts, especially if they are very fragile as the finds of biological origin.
Another peculiarity of the exhibition "FACES" is the will of the organizers to spread the potentialities offered by the open source world: not only using softwares with this kind of license, but by sharing the obtained three-dimensional models in an open and transparent way, with the opportunity to improve the realized work by other researchers scattered in different countries.
The exhibition is organized into five main themes:
1 - Let's face the human diversity: our origins through the casts of the main hominin fossils and their facial reconstructions, recreated with special forensic softwares and presented through augmented reality technologies. The exhibit also will present newly discovered species (Ardipithecus, Australopithecus sediba, Homo floresiensis) and, for the first time ever, the facial reconstructions of early hominins came out of Africa about 1.8 million years ago, discovered in Dmanisi site in Georgia (Homo georgicus).
The list of hominins on display:
- Ardipithecus ramidus
- Kenyanthropus platyops
- Australopithecus afarensis
- Australopithecus africanus (Mrs. Pless and Taung child)
- Australopithecus robustus (Paranthropus robustus)
- Paranthropus boisei
- Australopithecus sediba
- Homo habilis
- Homo ergaster (Turkana boy)
- Homo erectus (H. pekinensis)
- Homo neanderthalensis
- Homo rhodesiensis (H. heidelbergensis)
- Homo heidelbergensis (Bodo)
- Homo floresiensis
- Homo sapiens (Cro-Magnon)
- Homo sapiens (Idautu)
- Homo georgicus 1 (classic cast, Zvedza)
- Homo georgicus 2 (old)
- Homo georgicus 3 (Mzia)
- Homo georgicus 5 (2005)
2 - One face, one race? Not really: the concept of "human race" is scientifically inconsistent. For example, the difference in DNA between an African pygmy and a European is only slightly higher than that the one we can observe between two pygmies or between two Europeans: we are all relatives and all different. Humanity is one!
3 - Faces from the past: five faces emerge from time. Five faces linked to, in different ways, the city of Padua. The oldest one belongs to an Egyptian priest of the Ptolemaic Period, whose mummy is preserved at the Museum of Anthropology. After the anticipation of June 10, 2014, the exhibit will propose again the reconstruction of the face of St. Anthony, along with the one of Blessed Luca Belludi. The exhibition will give to the face of Francesco Petrarca, reconstructed for the first time, a voice to read the sonnet that opens the Canzoniere. The face of Giambattista Morgagni introduces the figure of another illustrious Paduan citizen, considered the father of contemporary pathological anatomy.
4 - The face as a mirror: famous people have dealt with physiognomy and phrenology: for a long time - as many popular sayings declare - it was considered that the moral qualities of a person were reflected in the external appearance, particularly in the visage. Removing the tinsels of old theories, the scientific study of the faces is continued over time because, undeniably, the face says a lot about us and our history, from both a personal and species point of view.
5 - From the face to the mask: the symbolic visage: covering the face is a gesture that distinguishes us from other animals. This is not a refined technique of mimicry because, although masked, we interact with others: the masks are rather fascinating symbolic territories. The masks on display are the most significant of the Museum of Anthropology, coming from different ethnographic collections around the world. Further, the contribution from the precious collaboration with the "Amleto and Donato Sartori" International Museum of the Mask at Abano Terme (Padua) enriches the section.
Website: FACES. The Many Visages of Human History (Italian language)
Facebook page: FACES. The Many Visages of Human History
Location and opening time
Exhibition halls of the University Centre for Museums
via Botanical Garden, 15 - Padua
February-March: Monday-Friday 9:00 to 13:00; Saturday and Sunday 9:00 to 17:00
April-June: Monday-Friday 9:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 19:00; Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10.00-18.00
Informations and reservations
Bookings Starting from January 12, 2015
Phone: 049 2010270
Full price: € 8,00
Reduced: € 6.00 (employees of the University of Padua, students of all levels, over 65, visitors with full ticket for the Botanical Garden or for the “Amleto and Donato Sartori" International Museum of the Mask (Abano Terme, Padua)
Reduced for schools: € 4.00
Groups (minimum 10, maximum 20 people): € 6.00
Guided tour for groups (minimum 10, maximum 20 people - mandatory reservation): € 80.00
Guided tours for individuals (mandatory reservation): € 8.00
Presenting the full ticket of the exhibition "FACES. The many visages of human history", you will be entitled to reduced ticket to visit the "Amleto and Donato Sartori" International Museum of the Mask (Abano Terme, Padua)