A major problem of fossil hominid analysis is a lack of complete specimens. Many individual specimens have been damaged by the effects of diagenesis and excavation. Significant advances in the field of three dimensional image processing (3D) have enabled the creation of accurately scaled reconstructions of individual fossil bones using mirrored parts of the same fossil bone or human/fossil hominid equivalents. This study presents, for the first time, a method to reconstruct a 3D virtual model of the lower limb of the Neandertal using different bones from different fossil remains (Spy II, Neandertal 1 and Kebara 2) and integrating them into a single model of the Neandertal lower limb. A biomechanical analysis of the model was performed, including computer graphics visualization of the results, motion displacement graphs and muscle moment arms. The overall method has been implemented into an open-source customized software (lhpFusionBox) developed for the biomechanical study of the musculoskeletal system.
Neandertal, Biomechanics, Locomotion, Moment arm