Virtual Anthropology

Virtual Anthropology (also known as computer-assisted anthropology) involves the study of 3-D digital models of anatomical structures of humans and non-human primates, as well as fossil specimens. This approach is multidisciplinary and incorporates fields such as anthropology, statistics, computer science, and medicine. Virtual Anthropology presents a number of advantages, including the ability to study internal structures of the skeleton non-invasively and the availability of virtual objects due to the permanence of the data and the potential for data sharing. Computer-assisted paleoanthropology is complementary to traditional methods employed in the field of biological anthropology and has offered new avenues for reconstruction of fragmentary fossils, studies of skeletal morphology, and biomechanical analyses.

The Paleoanthropology section in Tübingen applies Virtual Anthropology methodology to a. the study of trabecular architecture and its relationship to environment, function and activity patterns; b. the study of internal cranial structures, such as virtual endocasts or sinuses; and c. the study of internal dental structures. This work is made possible by our High Resolution CT laboratory, featuring aPhoenix v|tome|x scanner. The laboratory was installed in 2011 with funding from the University of Tübingen and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG INST 37/706-1).

LINK TO: virtual anthropology laboratory