By Dr Richard Neave. I believe (though I can’t find anything saying this specifically) this is the Peştera cu Oase 2 crania from Romania (edit: John Hawkes also says it this one), which is 40,000 years old and was found by potholers. I can’t find any other crania of this age or date from Romania, so by a process of elimination this would be it. They don’t know if the skull is male or female.
Peştera cu Oase 2 crania.
First of all let me comment my objection to this recon is entirely to do with the really dark skin colour of the head. My main point is that even Southern Africans have a skin colour a lot lighter than this. Modern humans were also resident across North Africa from about 130k ago, and into the near East from about 100k ago- 60k prior to the entry into Europe, so the reason behind the UV-resistant equatorial skin tone escapes me as that area (equator) was left behind about 90k prior to entering Europe. The Khoisan people in the area believed to be where humans evolved are much lighter. I’m also a little unsure as to why he made the nose quite so flared, as the shape seems half way betwen European and African. But then, I have seen some Irish guys with nostrils like that.
Also needing to be taken into consideration is that the European hair colour mutations for fair/brown and red hair date back to over 80k, and that the red hair genes at least will have had a lightening affect on skin tone. Lighter eye colours also lighten skin colour, and although blue is recent and fairly limited in distribution, other eye colours are much older and wider distributed, even as far as the Ainu and the Hmong.
On the other hand; it has the brow ridges, heavy jaw and wider nose you typical of more archaic samples, as seen in this 26,000 year old ivory head from Europe. The average prognathism in the Paleolithic samples is greater than in modern populations, and probably has a lot to do with the much larger teeth humans had prior to the Neolithic farming revolution.
Judging from the scant art objects the Europeans had straight hair. So.. give him hazel brown eyes and dark brown hair and a lighter Khoisan-ish skin tone and you’d probably be close to an accurate reconstruction of the face.