FOVEA : Virtual Excavation of Paleo-Anthropological Environments


Human Paleontology or Paleo-Anthropology is the science that aims to study the Evolution of human species by analyzing the fossil remains found on an excavation site. This is a science at the crossroad of many disciplines: geology, anatomy, biochemistry, physics, botany, ethnology, etc., that requires to compile the three following sources of data: the geology of the site, the environment of the fossils and the fossils.

By comparing all these data with the ones of other excavation sites, it becomes possible to place the fossil in the Human Evolution scheme and to try to understand its mechanism. Nevertheless, currently, the processing and the compilation of these data remain incomplete since most of them are not digitized and their processing is often performed in 2 dimensions only. There is then a large requirement of 3D digital modeling.

Among the problems, we can list:

The FOVEA Project gathers two research teams in Paleontology - the Department of Prehistory of the French Museum on Natural History (CNRS FRE 2677) and the European Center of Paleontological Research of Tautavel - and two research teams in Computer Science - the Department Virtual Reality of the Research Institute in Computer Science of Toulouse (CNRS UMR 5505) and the EPIDAURE Project of the French National Institute of Research in Computer Science and Automatics (INRIA) in Sophia Antipolis, all of them being internationally recognized, in an ambitious research program that has the following goals:

and to combine Information and Human Sciences, as high-technologies with our oldest Past.

The FOVEA Project is supported and partially funded by the Interdisciplianry Program "Information Society Archivage et patrimoine documentaire - Apports des sciences de l'information et de la cognition" of the French Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) for the period mid-2003 / mid-2005.