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Towards a best practice for the use of active non-contact surface scanning to record human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts

Errickson, D.; Grueso, I.; Griffith, S.; Setchell, J.; Thompson, T.J.U.; Thompson, C.E.L.; Gowland, R.L.

Towards a best practice for the use of active non-contact surface scanning to record human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts Thumbnail


Authors

D. Errickson

I. Grueso

S. Griffith

J. Setchell

T.J.U. Thompson

C.E.L. Thompson



Abstract

Active surface scanners emit light or a laser stripe to record the exterior surface of an object or landscape, providing results in three dimensions. The use of active surface scanners to record anthropological and archaeological contexts has increased within the last few years, creating a number of sub-contexts within these disciplines, and allowing a further development of certain applications, such as quantitative analysis, the use of replicas in education and museums, and the creation of digital databases archived in institutions. However with guidance, this paper aims to assess the advantages and disadvantages of active surface scanning and the potential for research with regards to the recording and analysis of human skeletal remains. The key advantages and uses identified include: quantitative digitisation, geometric morphometric studies, conservation, preservation, documentation, and reconstruction. However, surface scanning also has some limitations, including: cost, technological expertise, the need for a power source, computing requirements, and data size. Overall, the application of active surface scanning technology to archaeological skeletal remains will provide a vital digital archive that will serve to preserve the integrity of this fragile and finite resource for future generations. This is particularly important within the current developer-funded environment in which many skeletal collections, including those yielding unique or unusual pathological or morphological features, are re-buried, with only very limited time for analysis.

Citation

Errickson, D., Grueso, I., Griffith, S., Setchell, J., Thompson, T., Thompson, C., & Gowland, R. (2017). Towards a best practice for the use of active non-contact surface scanning to record human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 27(4), 650-661. https://doi.org/10.1002/oa.2587

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 17, 2017
Online Publication Date Apr 20, 2017
Publication Date Aug 1, 2017
Deposit Date Mar 3, 2017
Publicly Available Date Apr 20, 2018
Journal International Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Print ISSN 1047-482X
Electronic ISSN 1099-1212
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 4
Pages 650-661
DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/oa.2587

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Accepted Journal Article (354 Kb)
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Copyright Statement
This is the accepted version of the following article: Errickson, D., Grueso, I., Griffith, S., Setchell, J., Thompson, T. J. U., Thompson, C. E. L. & Gowland, R. L. (2017). Towards a best practice for the use of active non-contact surface scanning to record human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 27(4): 650-661, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/oa.2587. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.





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