University of Cambridge > > Computational and Digital Archaeology Lab (CDAL) > Of vertices, voxels and bones: the geometric exploration of our skeleton

Of vertices, voxels and bones: the geometric exploration of our skeleton

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The shape of things is our most direct way into the wonders of nature, one that we can travel with no mediation but that of our own senses. Yet, the power of our senses is limited and biased, and we need transforming nature into numbers to make sense of the complexity before our eyes. When we deal with shapes, geometry can help and its application can be extended to the digital forms populating today’s research, made of 3D vertices and voxels. Archaeology and Anthropology are no strangers to these methods, and the human and hominin skeleton has witnessed many of such applications to unravel the course of human evolution.

In this talk, I will show how to use geometry to extract information from digitised skeletal elements. Three applications will be presented: (I) the digital restoration of fossil specimens; (II) the automatic segmentation of cranial endocasts and other skeletal cavities; (III) the isolation of cancellous bone and the measurement of its geometric properties (such as complexity). The methods behind these examples will be thoroughly explained, to show the inherent simplicity of their usage.

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This talk is part of the Computational and Digital Archaeology Lab (CDAL) series.

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