3D Anthro and...

  • ...human evolution
  • ...you
  • ...me
  • ...others
  • ...asymmetry

homin skulls

(Guattari, ~50000 BP)
early modern human
(Qafzeh 6, ~92000 BP)
extant human
Here are a few examples that illustrate human variation through time. 3D scans like these are a nice tool to study human fossils virtually, without touching these very fragile remains. More to come...








·  morphmet

·  morphometrics at Stony Brook

·  NYCEP morphometrics group




· aapa
· aaa
· pa




Nature has come up with a pretty simple trick to cope with the vagaries of physical damage: Duplication. All higher organisms, including humans, are built in a fairly symmetrical manner. It has also been known for some time now that naturally occurring symmetry is not perfect. What is really interesting is that our perception can distinguish between exact and “natural” symmetry, and it has been suggested that exact asymmetry of the human face is perceived negatively.


Here is an example that anyone can do easily for him/herself. Just take a picture, split in along the midline, duplicate the two halves and recombine them:


regular Martin righty lefty
my regular self right half mirrored left half mirrored
  scary, isn't it?  












  I am a physical anthropologist who specializes in 3D-anthropometry and shape analysis. I’m interested in human variability, past and present, and how it relates to our evolution and dispersal. While this is mostly academic, there is also a practical side to it: Ergonomics. Anyone who has been squeezed into an airplane for 8 hours, cursing the designer for not making more comfortable seats knows what I mean. 3D-anthropometry can help make things fit better, whether it is a seat, a pair of jeans, or the glasses through which you may be reading this page…