How to see the past?

No matter how a person is directed to the future, he is always drawn to thoroughly study, and even better - to see the past. Therefore, family photos and amateur videos are so common. But even serious science, with the help of modern technologies, is not averse to recreating the past and unraveling its mysteries.

No matter how a person is directed to the future, he is always drawn to thoroughly study, and even better - to see the past

In biology, or rather, in anthropology, one of the first such methods for reconstructing a person's appearance was the method of restoring a face from the skull based on craniometric measurements. And although the beginning of its use can be attributed to the attempts of the German scientist Schaaffhausen to reconstruct the appearance of people of the Paleolithic era, a real breakthrough in this area was made by anthropologist Mikhail Mikhailovich Gerasimov. It was he who created a unique technique for restoring a face from a skull and, on its basis, was able to show us Yaroslav the Wise, Ivan the Terrible, and Tamerlane.

With the advent of computer technology, it would seem that it is possible to see the past and speed it up. But, as it turned out, only a person can see in each individual skull a unique relief, slight depressions and bulges, is able to distinguish the degree of looseness of the bone compact, the severity of certain of its fragments. But this is the only way to carry out a reconstruction that is closest to the original. Therefore, reconstruction without a skull, but only with the help of computer technology, is impossible.

But still, when analyzing anthropometric data, computers make it possible to accomplish the seemingly impossible - to reconstruct the voice of a person from the past! The Japanese Matsumi Sazaki from the Japanese Acoustic Laboratory succeeded. As a basis, the scientist took the methods that are used in law enforcement agencies to analyze the recording of voices. To them, he added data on the structure of the skull, structural features of the skeleton, as well as portrait features of a person. And as a result of the work done, Sazaki was able to "hear" the voices of Mona Lisa and Leonardo da Vinci. As it turned out, Gioconda's voice is quite low and also a little nasal, but Leonardo has a good bass. True, during this reconstruction, the Japanese made several of his own assumptions, for example, he calculated the growth of the Mona Lisa according to the length of her middle right finger. Be that as it may, the improvement of the proposed method will make it possible to "hear" other famous historical characters.

Another technological breakthrough in recent years to see the past is the ability to recreate human DNA from just a few cells. Prior to this, genetic expertise needed at least 200 cells. "So what?" you exclaim. And here's what... The developer of this technology, Ian Findlay from Australia, thoroughly studied the materials of the 19th century criminal case about the terrible villain Jack the Ripper. And he made a sensational statement - the horror of London at night and its prostitutes was not a thug-maniac, but... a woman. And genetics helped him solve this case. The scientist carefully studied the threatening letters written by Jack in the National Archives, on which the author not only left his signature, but also particles of his genetic material. Behind these remnants of DNA, Findlay recreated their owner. These conclusions were recognized by the scientific world as well. They also confirmed the guesses of Inspector Abberline, who at one time suggested that a woman could be the killer of prostitutes. By the way, the Findlay technique allows you to work with cells even more than 160 years old.

No matter how sensational the research results described above may seem, progress and modern technologies help to see the past step by step. And, perhaps, tomorrow we will be able not only to see the appearance of an ancient person or animals, but also to hear their original voices. And there and to the "Jurassic Park" is not far...