A Simple Technique for Imaging the Human Skeleton Using a Flatbed Scanner


  • Sherry C. Fox Ph.D.,

    1. Wiener Laboratory, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 54 Souidias Street, Athens GR106 76, Greece.
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  • Constantine Eliopoulos Ph.D.,

    1. Research Centre in Evolutionary Anthropology and Palaeoecology, School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF, U.K.
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  • Ioanna Moutafi M.Sc.,

    1. Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, Northgate House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 4ET, UK.
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  • Sotiris K. Manolis Ph.D.

    1. Department of Animal & Human Physiology, Faculty of Biology, School of Sciences, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, GR157 01 Athens, Greece.
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  • Presented at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, February 19–24, 2007, in San Antonio, TX.

Additional information and reprint requests:
Sherry C. Fox, Ph.D.
Wiener Laboratory
American School of Classical Studies at Athens
54 Souidias Street
Athens GR106 76
E-mail: sfox@ascsa.edu.gr


Abstract:  A simple technique for imaging the human skeleton with a flatbed scanner is presented using the auricular surface of the ilium as an example. A flatbed scanner with resolution capabilities of 600 dpi or greater allows for images of human bones. The auricular surface of the ilium was selected to demonstrate this technique as it is a fairly three-dimensional area that can be difficult to record photographically. Fifty left ilia of various ages at death from the Athens Collection were selected from which three observers (SCF, CE, and IM) scored the morphology of the auricular surface using a well-established aging method. Observations were taken of the dry bone, of digital photographs of the bone, and of scanned images of the bone, and in that sequence. Results indicate that scores of scanned images are equivalent or better than digital images of the same ilia. This technique allows for sharing data electronically with ease.