Myrtis is the name given by archaeologists to an 11-year-old girl from ancient Athens, whose remains were discovered in 1994–95 in a mass grave during work to build the metro station at Kerameikos, Greece. The name was chosen from common ancient Greek names. The analysis showed that Myrtis and two other bodies in the mass grave had died of typhoid fever during the Plague of Athens in 430 BCE.

Myrtis' skull was in an unusually good condition and Greek orthodontics professor Manolis Papagrigorakis requested help from Swedish specialists to recreate her facial features. A special scanner was employed for the non-invasive acquisition of high-resolution anatomic data of Myrtis' skull. The volume of the skull was determined at 446 cm3. Following scanning, an exact replica of her skull was created, which became the basis for subsequent forensic facial reconstruction. The reconstruction process followed the so-called 'Manchester method': the facial tissues were laid from the skull surface outward by using depth marker pegs to determine thickness.

The shape, size and position of the eyes, ears, nose and mouth were determined through the features of the underlying skeletal tissues. 20 different muscles were sculpted. The thickness of the facial tissues were evaluated according to average values taken from corresponding reference tables for age, gender and race. The mouth width and the lip thickness were estimated by the pattern and the skeletal craniofacial attributes of the associated area. Myrtis' reconstructed face was given brown eyes and brown hair, but the true colours of these can only be determined by DNA analysis. The hairstyle she was given follows the fashion of the time. Following her reconstruction, the United Nations Regional Information Centre made Myrtis a friend of the Millennium Development Goals and used her in the UN campaign 'We Can End Poverty'.

Now, Myrtis returns to the fore as a spokesperson for disease and a voice from antiquity on May 13.
A conference, titled '5 years with Myrtis', will be held at the Acropolis Museum on May 13 to mark the 5-year-anniversary since the reconstruction of the 11-year-old girl. A letter posted next to her picture says:

“My death was inevitable. In the 5th century BC we had neither the knowledge nor the means to fight deadly illnesses. However, you, the people of the 21st century, have no excuse. You possess all the necessary means and resources to save the lives of millions of people. To save the lives of millions of children like me who are dying of preventable and curable diseases. 2,500 years after my death, I hope that my message will engage and inspire more people to work and make the Millennium Development Goals a reality.”

The event taking place at the Acropolis Museum is being held under the auspices of the University of Athens, the Ministry of Research and Innovation, the UN and the Norwegian Embassy in Greece.