Mystery of the Luzia Woman

The skeleton and facial reconstruction of The Luzia Woman. Images from The Hindsight Project.
 She has been known as ‘the first Brazilian woman’ and her remains are the oldest found in the Americas, to date.

Luzia Woman—who was she?

Where did she come from?

Where are the rest of her people?

The skeleton of Luzia Woman was found in south-central Brazil in 1975 in a rock shelter, cave-like opening.  The skull was separated from the rest of the bones and buried under fifty feet of mineral deposits.  Many tools were found with her.  She was probably killed by an animal attack.

Luzia woman was in her twenties.  Why weren’t the bones of her family members or tribe—similar people—found nearby?  How was she there by herself, and a reconstruction of her face clearly shows that she was very different than the other people that inhabited that part of Brazil, 11,500 years ago.

Luzia woman is considered to be the first Brazilian woman and is one of the oldest skeletons in the Americas.  She is named Luzia in honor of Lucy, the Ethiopian fossil found in 1974.

Early peoples in the Americas were mostly descendants of Siberians who migrated to the area—but Luzia does not seem to be one of these.  She is more similar to Indigenous Australians—an aborigine, anthropologist, Walter Neves of the University of Sao Paulo speculates.

There is a hypothesis that her predecessors possibly traveled to coastal East Asia and then came in boats along the Kuril island chain in the Americas.

Luzia, the Upper Paleolithic woman was discovered in Lapa Vermelha, Brazil by a joint French-Brazilian expedition.  After the discovery, Luzia was taken to the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D. C. and many anthropologists worked years to come up with a profile of Luzia.

Richard Neave was able to reconstruct her face as a computerized image.  She has been known as ‘the first Brazilian woman’ and her remains are the oldest found in the Americas, to date.

Sara Marie hogg is the author of Curious Indeed. please click here to find her collection of stories about the unknown and unexplained on Amazon.

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