Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (04): 706-720.doi: 10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2020.0028

• Literature Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

An overview of craniofacial reconstruction technology application in physical anthropology

SHUI Wuyang1, DENG Qingqiong1, WU Xiujie2,3, JI Yuan4, LI Xiaoqun2,3, ZHOU Mingquan1   

  1. 1. School of Artificial Intelligence, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875
    2. Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origin of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044
    3. CAS Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Beijing 100044
    4. Institute of Forensic Ministry of Public Security, Beijing 100038
  • Received:2019-10-25 Revised:2019-12-22 Online:2021-08-15 Published:2021-08-16


Facial appearances are one of the most important features of humans. Facial shapes relied heavily on the geometric shape of skulls, craniofacial morphology relationship between skulls and faces and gender, age, ethnic, body mass index (BMI), nutritional status, etc. After the humans’ skeletons are excavated from archaeological sites, facial soft-tissue tissues and muscles usually have been disappeared. It has become one of hot topics for anthropologists and arachnologists to predict the facial appearances of these unidentified skulls. Traditional craniofacial reconstruction (CFR) methods are based on manual technologies that anthropologists collaborated with artists to model a facial appearance on a skull replica with plasticine. During recent thirty years, the improvement of medical image acquisitions technologies and the progress in computer technologies have had a great impact on CFR, and computerized CFR has become one of cutting-edge technologies in the interdisciplinary study of information science, physical anthropology and forensic science. The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of existing manual CFR methods, computerized CFR methods and assessment methods by summarizing the research methods of related literatures. Finally, this paper reviews the progresses of CFR application in physical anthropology and gives some suggestions for further research.

Key words: Cranioface, Reconstruction, Soft-tissue, Assessment

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