CAP - Tutorial

Introduction to CAP

Volume data acquisition

Computer Graphics

Virtual fossils

Rapid prototyping

3D morphometry

CAP and the Neanderthals

Neanderthals vs. modern humans

Face reconstruction

Beyond Paleoanthropology

Biomedical applications

Virtually surgery

Virtual reality and real virtuality

Surgery prediction

Custom implant design





Carpe Diem?

MorphoLab (internal)

<< Neanderthals and modern humans | CAP - Tutorial | Beyond Paleoanthropology >>

Reconstructing the face of the Gibraltar 2 (Devil's Tower) Neanderthal child

The Gibraltar 2 Neanderthal child specimen is represented by 5 cranial fragments recovered by Dorothy Garrod at the Devil’s Tower site in Gibraltar (Garrod et al., 1928). Methods of computer-asissted paleoanthropology (CAP) were used to reconstruct and complete the fragmentary remains and to produce a quantitative estimate of the soft tissue dimensions.

  • Non-invasive 3-dimensional volume data acquisition of the fossil remains was performed with medical Computer Tomography (CT).
  • Using the special-purpose software toolkit FoRM-IT, the fossil fragments were transformed into virtual 3D objects on a computer screen. The isolated parts were positioned in anatomical space according to biological criteria, and missing regions were completed with mirror-imaged counterparts of preserved fragments.
  • The virtual reconstruction was transformed into a physical model using laser stereolithography.

Virtual and stereolithographic reconstructions of the Devil's Tower Neanderthal child
  • Soft tissue structures were extrapolated with 3D Thin Plate Splining (TPS) techniques (Bookstein, 1991) from combined skeletal/soft tissue data from a modern child of comparable dental age.

Soft tissue morphing from a modern child (age 4y) to the Devil's Tower Neanderthal child
  • The facial soft tissue layers, ears and other facial traits were reconstructed with a plasticine paste that was applied directly onto the stereolithographic replica, according to the results produced with the TPS morphing procedure.

Modelling the soft tissue
  • The final model was cast in silicon and carefully painted, giving a vivid impression of the natural texture of human skin. The face obtained its final touch through one-by-one implantation of human hair.

The Devil's Tower Neanderthal child (model reconstruction: E. Daynès, Paris)

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