In order to discuss possible differences in brain anatomy between Neanderthals and early modern humans, the original antemortem appearance of fossil crania that enclosed the brain must somehow be correctly restored, as soft tissues such as the brain are generally not fossilized. However, crania are typically fractured, fragmented, and deformed due to compaction and diagenesis. Furthermore, recovery of all component fragments of fossil crania is rare. Restoration of the brain morphology of fossil crania therefore necessitates correct assembly of the available fragments, eliminating distortions, and compensating for missing parts as a first step. This paper reviews the current status of computerized reconstruction methods, then provides an overview and future directions toward digital reconstruction of fossil crania and the associated brain morphology.
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