Mikhail Mikhaylovich Gerasimov’s authentic approach to plastic facial reconstruction

Ullrich, H. and Stephan, C. N. (2016) Mikhail Mikhaylovich Gerasimov’s authentic approach to plastic facial reconstruction. Anthropologie, 54 2: 97-107.

Author Ullrich, H.
Stephan, C. N.
Title Mikhail Mikhaylovich Gerasimov’s authentic approach to plastic facial reconstruction
Journal name Anthropologie
ISSN 0323-1119
Publication date 2016-01-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 54
Issue 2
Start page 97
End page 107
Total pages 11
Place of publication Brno, Czech Republic
Publisher Moravske Zemske Muzeum
Abstract Facial reconstruction is used in paleoanthropology and the forensic sciences to predict facial appearances from dry skulls. The Russian archaeologist Mikhail Mikhaylovich Gerasimov is especially renowned for his contributions to this field; so much so, that his method defines an entire face prediction approach that delineates the theoretical and practical framework of the forensic facial reconstruction discipline. However, Gerasimov's founding method has been massively misinterpreted in the English speaking world, including the English forensic science literature. That is, Gerasimov's so-called "Russian methods" do not rely on the comprehensive construction of the facial muscles without the use of facial soft tissue thickness means as unanimously published beyond Gerasimov's manuscripts. Instead, the reverse is true: Gerasimov constructed only limited muscles – the two superficial muscles of mastication – and his method heavily depended on average soft tissue thickness values, which he twice published. While Gerasimov's hallmark Russian text, Vosstanovlenie lica po cerepu (available since 1955), clearly delineates these methods, ongoing hesitation to abandon entrenched dogma suggests that an English synopsis is timely. To avoid continuing problems of language barriers and original text scarcity, we present and illustrate Gerasimov's authentic facial reconstruction techniques in English on the basis of two primary sources: Vosstanovlenie lica po cerepu; and five, two-to-three week, one-on-one training sessions with Gerasimov in the former USSR between 1959 and 1969. While this paper is not intended to replace Gerasimov’s original works, it is intended to inspire proper consultation of his original manuscripts to correct entrenched misrepresentations; and provide insight on how Gerasimov implemented these recommendations at the work-bench, i.e., to elucidate his technique in addition to his method.
Keyword Facial approximation
Facial reproduction
Plastic reconstruction
Russian method
Forensic anthropology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes http://puvodni.mzm.cz/Anthropologie/issue.php?Year=2016&Volume=54&Issue=2

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
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Created: Sun, 28 Aug 2016, 06:50:34 EST by Carl Stephan on behalf of School of Biomedical Sciences