Moreover, when several faces are averaged to create a composite -- thus covering up the asymmetries that any one individual may have -- a panel of judges deemed the composite more attractive than the individual pictures.
Victor Johnston of New Mexico State University, for example, utilizes a program called Face Prints, which shows viewers facial images of variable attractiveness.
In the 1970s, archaeologist Peter Bogucki was excavating a Stone Age site in the fertile plains of central Poland when he came across an assortment of odd artefacts.
The people who had lived there around 7,000 years ago were among central Europe's first farmers, and they had left behind fragments of pottery dotted with tiny holes.
Plato's golden proportions, however, haven't quite held up to the rigors of modern psychological and biological research -- though there is credence in the ancient Greeks' attempts to determine a fundamental symmetry that humans find attractive.