Meet the ancestors: Exhibition reveals faces of prehistoric humans

Her clothes are made from fur, hemp and nettle and for decoration she sports ivory and bone beads. She has dark hair worn in dreadlocks, tattoos and a penetrating stare. Former French make-up artist turned palaeontology expert and sculptor Elisabeth Daynes has painstakingly created a model of Pataud woman. Believed to have lived around 17,000 years ago in France’s southwestern Dordogne region, her skeleton was found there in a rock shelter. The life-size model is one of two star attractions at an exhibition being held at a Bordeaux gallery entitled “The Origins of Flesh – our ancestors as you’ve never seen them before”.

My work is done just like a forensic investigation, from casts taken from prehistoric skulls, reconstructed exactly like police composite sketches.

Elisabeth Daynes