Forensic Sciences and the Study of Image Libraries

3D CT reconstruction of a south American mummy © Dedouit

Fossil aims to quantify the morphological variations related to development, aging, sexual dimorphism, ancestries or also linked to pathologies in modern or past populations. These techniques have applications in the following three scientific fields.

Forensic Medicine and Anthropology

On the one hand, imaging techniques on bone indicators are developed in order to transpose classical osteological methods to the imaging in order to provide a biological profile (such as age assessment, gender determination …) with a time gain in forensic contexts.

On the other hand, with the development of 3D imaging on teeth, it has become possible to include measurements such as volumetric data, which give a better grasp of the continuous process of tooth mineralization. Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a technology that is especially useful in dental and maxillofacial radiology as it enables volume data to be acquired rapidly.

Human Variability and Medico-Surgical Applications

Physical anthropology focuses on describing ancient and present human biological diversity. This approach is complementary to medicine, in that it allows us to understand normality within a population. In human medical biology, reference ranges of “normality” are widely used without taking into account the population ancestry. This application may impact on prosthetic rehabilitation (e.g. on knees or rhinological pathologies), adaptability of the musculoskeletal system and odontology and oral surgery.

Reading inequalities on archeological skeletons

If the economic and social environment influences the biology of individuals, then paleontological data revealed through archeology constitute extraordinary first-hand sources for discussing the dynamic hierarchy of past societies.


CAVAIGNAC Etienne ; COLLETER Rozenn ; DEDOUIT Fabrice ; FARUCH Marie ; MARET Delphine ; ROUGE Daniel ; SAINT MARTIN Pauline ; SAVALL Frédéric ; TELMON Norbert