Electronic removal of encrustations inside the Steinheim cranium reveals paranasal sinus features and deformations, and provides a revised endocranial volume estimate



Features in the endocranium, as revealed by computed tomography (CT) scans of largely complete mid-Pleistocene crania, have helped elucidate unexpected affinities in the genus Homo. Because of its extensive encrustations and deformations, it has been difficult to repeat such analyses with the Steinheim cranium. Here, we present several advances in the analysis of this Homo heidelbergensis cranium by applying filter algorithms and image editing techniques to its CT scan. First, we show how the encrustations have been removed electronically, revealing interesting peculiarities, particularly the many directions of the deformations. Second, we point out similarities and differences between the frontal and sphenoidal sinuses of the Steinheim, Petralona, and Broken Hill (Kabwe) crania. Third, we assess the extent of the endocranial deformations and, fourth, their implications for our estimation of the braincase volume. Anat Rec (Part B: New Anat) 273B:132–142, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.