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An Attempt at Digitally Associating Skeletal Elements: A Study of Photogrammetry and Articular Surface Area

Author(s): Jane Wiegand

Year: 2017

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When excavating archaeological skeletal remains it is not uncommon to find them disarticulated and even commingled with other sets of remains. To study these remains it is paramount to first accurately and efficiently re-associate all skeletal elements. Re-association of skeletal remains is necessary before any other form of analysis (ancestry, sex, age, stature etc.) can be performed. While analog methods have been previously applied to standardize this task the advent of digital modelling provides a new medium within which new methodologies may exist. For example, photogrammetry is an accessible means of digitization with the potential to aid in shape analysis. This study used photogrammetry to answer two questions: is photogrammetry a practical means for digitizing skeletal remains? And, is articular surface area a measurement that can be used for re-associating skeletal elements? During the study photogrammetry was found to be a practical means with which 3D models could be rendered in part due to the basic and relatively affordable tools available, even in consideration of time and learning curve. In contrast, articular surface area would require further research to demonstrate its practicality, or lack thereof, for being a means by which disarticulated skeletal remains could be re-associated.

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An Attempt at Digitally Associating Skeletal Elements: A Study of Photogrammetry and Articular Surface Area. Jane Wiegand. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429298)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16664

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America