3D Digital Record of the Excavation Process of Ancient Human Skulls

Restoring history,3D digital modeling for archaeological and cultural relics excavation.

In 2022, China discovered the fossilized skull of “Yunxian Man 3”, which is the most complete Homo erectus fossil of the same age ever found in the interior of Eurasia. On Nov. 29, the British scientific journal Nature published an article titled “Ancient skull uncovered in China could be million-year-old Homo erectus” in its news section.(Click to read the original article)

Fossilised skull of “ Yunxian Man 3”
Nature report page
Excavation site

The archaeological excavation process is an irreversible process and the excavation process implies the destruction of the site. Therefore, the archaeological process requires very detailed on-site documentation. At the archaeological site of “Yunxian Man 3”, Get3D used tilt-photogrammetry, laser scanning, automatic 3D reconstruction technology to document the excavation process of the human skull, from the beginning of the excavation to the removal of the entire skull, in the form of a highly accurate 3D model.

Automatic 3D reconstruction

Get3D Mapper supports a wide range of data imports such as tilt photography, fill-in photos and moving laser point clouds for automated 3D reconstruction.

The technicians took 7303 images of the site. These were then imported into Get3D Mapper,which can automatically create a 3D model. In addition, Get3D Mapper’s ability to align the models between the different stages supports the reproduction of each step of the excavation process with accurate 3D models, which covers an area of 5.52 square kilometers.


Archaeological artifacts document the development of human civilization. Get3D builds high-precision models of artifacts through digital technology.These models can also be displayed in VR space, which can help to preserve and disseminate world-famous artifacts.