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Virtual Taphonomy : a New Method Integrating Excavation and Post-processing of Human Remains

Wilhelmson, Helene LU and Dell'Unto, Nicolo LU (2015) In American Journal of Physical Anthropology 157(2). p.305-321
Abstract
The objective of this paper was to integrate excavation and post-processing of archaeological and osteological contexts and material to enhance the interpretation of these with specific focus on the taphonomical aspects. A method was designed, Virtual Taphonomy, based on the use and integration of image-based 3D modeling techniques into a 3D GIS platform, and tested on a case study. Merging the 3D models and a database directly in the same virtual environment allowed the authors to fully integrate excavation and post-processing in a complex spatial analysis reconnecting contexts excavated on different occasions in the field process. The case study further demonstrated that the method enabled a deeper understanding of the taphonomic agents... (More)
The objective of this paper was to integrate excavation and post-processing of archaeological and osteological contexts and material to enhance the interpretation of these with specific focus on the taphonomical aspects. A method was designed, Virtual Taphonomy, based on the use and integration of image-based 3D modeling techniques into a 3D GIS platform, and tested on a case study. Merging the 3D models and a database directly in the same virtual environment allowed the authors to fully integrate excavation and post-processing in a complex spatial analysis reconnecting contexts excavated on different occasions in the field process. The case study further demonstrated that the method enabled a deeper understanding of the taphonomic agents at work and allowed the construction of a more detailed interpretation of the skeletal remains than possible with more traditional methods. The method also proved to add transparency to the entire research process from field to post-processing and interpretation. Other benefits were the timesaving aspects in documentation, not only in the excavation process but also in post-processing without creating additional costs in material, as the equipment used is available in most archaeological excavations. The authors conclude that this methodology could be employed on a variety of investigations from archaeological to forensic contexts and add significant value in many different respects (for example, detail, objectivity, complexity, time-efficiency) compared to methods currently used. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
image-based 3D modelling, 3D GIS, 3D models, burial, osteology
in
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
volume
157
issue
2
pages
305 - 321
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
external identifiers
  • pmid:25720527
  • wos:000354731600011
  • scopus:84929643370
ISSN
0002-9483
DOI
10.1002/ajpa.22715
project
Archaeological information in the digital society
3D GIS: a Research Platform for the Development of New Research Methodologies for the Documentation and Analysis of Archaeological Sites.
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a86cc5f2-950e-4c2f-abe4-75fdd94c9d0c (old id 4538909)
date added to LUP
2015-01-27 11:08:53
date last changed
2017-08-27 03:14:57
@article{a86cc5f2-950e-4c2f-abe4-75fdd94c9d0c,
  abstract     = {The objective of this paper was to integrate excavation and post-processing of archaeological and osteological contexts and material to enhance the interpretation of these with specific focus on the taphonomical aspects. A method was designed, Virtual Taphonomy, based on the use and integration of image-based 3D modeling techniques into a 3D GIS platform, and tested on a case study. Merging the 3D models and a database directly in the same virtual environment allowed the authors to fully integrate excavation and post-processing in a complex spatial analysis reconnecting contexts excavated on different occasions in the field process. The case study further demonstrated that the method enabled a deeper understanding of the taphonomic agents at work and allowed the construction of a more detailed interpretation of the skeletal remains than possible with more traditional methods. The method also proved to add transparency to the entire research process from field to post-processing and interpretation. Other benefits were the timesaving aspects in documentation, not only in the excavation process but also in post-processing without creating additional costs in material, as the equipment used is available in most archaeological excavations. The authors conclude that this methodology could be employed on a variety of investigations from archaeological to forensic contexts and add significant value in many different respects (for example, detail, objectivity, complexity, time-efficiency) compared to methods currently used.},
  author       = {Wilhelmson, Helene and Dell'Unto, Nicolo},
  issn         = {0002-9483},
  keyword      = {image-based 3D modelling,3D GIS,3D models,burial,osteology},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {305--321},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {American Journal of Physical Anthropology},
  title        = {Virtual Taphonomy : a New Method Integrating Excavation and Post-processing of Human Remains},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.22715},
  volume       = {157},
  year         = {2015},
}