Tuesday, January 22, 2008


NESPOS is one of the collaborating organizations on the Paleoanth Portal site, which I mentioned in a recent post. NESPOS stands for the Neanderthal Studies Professional Online System and is described thusly on the Paleoanth Portal:

NESPOS grew out of the TNT (The Neanderthal Tools) project, which ran from 2004-2005 and developed a database of information about Neanderthal-related sites, fossils and archaeological assemblages. Currently more than 500 CT-Scans and data from 50 Neanderthal sites are accessible; the data base is extended constantly. Members of NESPOS (an international professional society) receive access to CT & 3D surface scans of fossils and artifacts visualized in ArteCore and 3D terrain models and virtual excavation sites accessible with GeoCore, a GIS and exploration tool.

The NESPOS site is pretty slick - well done, and the demo files give a good impression of the versatility of some of the 3D models of bones they have available. It certainly look like a worthwhile organization to join if you're interested in Neanderthal studies.

Also on the site is this promotional video, just to whet your appetite until you get yourself there.

I like the vid quite a bit, and it gives a fly-thru (literally!) of some of the data and models they've got available. Though, with The Who providing the soundtrack and the flying in and out of things, I couldn't help but to think.... CSI: Neanderthal!! I was almost expecting the inimitable David Caruso to pop up at the end and deliver a gag-inducing one-liner about "dead-ends"!


Unknown said...

would you say it's worth £20 for a PhD student to sign up? I've been thinking about it for ages but can't really get an impression of its usefulness to me from the demo I looked at.

Anne Gilbert said...

That vid is really, really cool. Judging by the "tease", I think it might be worth the money for that PhD student. But what do I know? I'm not a PhD student. OTOH, if anybody *did* buy it, I should think it would give the buyer a *very* good idea of what Neandertal bones were made of, so to speak.
Anne G

Julien Riel-Salvatore said...

Becky, Anne -
this is a question I was discussing with a grad student in our own dept just last week. I suppose the immediate benefit of joining NESPOS or a similar repository/association really would depend on whether you have a need for digitized copies of artifacts and/or fossils, or wish to work on projects that incorporate virtual copies of artifacts/fossils. From the information available on the NESPOS web site, it seems like they have a relatively large amount of data already available, including digitized sections and excavation details. It certainly would appear that digitizing paleoanthropological material will become an increasingly important dimension of the discipline in the coming decades. Just think of the recent study of the Flores wrist bones, and you can immediately see how some of these new models and related methods can provide new insights into aspects of human evolution. So, in that sense, it might not hurt to get on board the 'digital express' earlier than later - at the very least, it would provide an objective basis on which to start critically evaluate the respective capacities of various analytical software packages.


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

my name is Marcel Bradtmöller and I´m a team member of the NESPOS project. Thanks for the kudos for the trailer (i have cut this ;-).
I have found your post here a min. ago and since January we had run a lot of modifications on the Open Space of NESPOS so everyone can get a clearer view, of the inside of the project. For students the costs are really low (30€ per year) and you get the software suite for free.
If you get interested, feel free to contact us under info@nespos.org.

Cheers from the Neander Valley


Julien Riel-Salvatore said...

Hi, Marcel -
thanks for your message, and for the update re: NESPOS and the new info/data available on your site... I'll link to it in a new post on the blog!