5 euro - Myrtis
Construction works for the Athens metro station at Kerameikos in 1994 brought to light a mass grave containing the remains of some 150 people, victims of the Plague of Athens (430-426 BC) during the Peloponnesian War. Using state-of-the-art DNA analysis, scientists were finally able to answer one of the unsolved questions of ancient Greek history by identifying the deadly pathogen as Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, which causes typhoid fever. Among the finds was the very well-preserved skull of an eleven-year-old girl, whom the archaeologists named Myrtis, her lower jaw and teeth intact. The excellent condition of the skull inspired the idea of reconstructing the face of a child who had lived at the time of Pericles. After the original skull was replicated, the facial features were recreated using the “Manchester method”. The young Athenian girl was unveiled to the public in a ceremony at the Acropolis Museum in April 2010.