3D investigation of Ox crania used for target practice at Vindolanda

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

This paper explores the use of rapidly-developing 3D imaging techniques for recording ox crania and other artefacts recovered from Vindolanda. Amongst the rare collection at Vindolanda are ox crania with evidence of trauma suspected to be target practice resulting from Roman military occupations.

An object is first imaged using a 3D scanner. The scan aligning and fusing process results in a single, textured 3D model that can be viewed without obstruction. Digital enhancement procedures can then be applied to prepare the digital model for 3D printing. This process results in high-quality digital and physical models of the object.

When analysing skeletal material, 3D imaging enhances the quality of the bioarchaeological assessments by allowing plane-cutting views and precise measurements of the surface features. A combination of morphological analysis and physical fits of arrowheads recovered from Vindolanda confirm most the trauma in the imaged ox cranium as projectile trauma. The right anterior portion of bone was broken away due to the amount of projectile impacts separating it from the rest of the cranium. However, the lack of fracturing and extensive damage across all the trauma sites showed that relatively weak force was used. There were several additional impact sites that potentially matched a lancehead, caused from behind and likely made for holding the cranium up for targeting.

3D imaging proves to be useful in a range of archaeological applications. The digital and 3D printed reconstructions can be handled by the public to effectively engage them with the complex information presented whilst preserving the archaeological record indefinitely.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2018
EventTheoretical Roman Archaeology Camp - Vindolanda, Bardon Mill, United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Sep 201823 Sep 2018

Conference

ConferenceTheoretical Roman Archaeology Camp
Abbreviated titleTRACamp
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityBardon Mill
Period22/09/1823/09/18

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cranium
scanner
occupation
artifact
bone
damage

Cite this

Williams, R., Thompson, T., Orr, C., & Taylor, G. (2018). 3D investigation of Ox crania used for target practice at Vindolanda. Paper presented at Theoretical Roman Archaeology Camp, Bardon Mill, United Kingdom.
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author = "Rhys Williams and Timothy Thompson and Caroline Orr and Gillian Taylor",
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Williams, R, Thompson, T, Orr, C & Taylor, G 2018, '3D investigation of Ox crania used for target practice at Vindolanda', Paper presented at Theoretical Roman Archaeology Camp, Bardon Mill, United Kingdom, 22/09/18 - 23/09/18.

3D investigation of Ox crania used for target practice at Vindolanda. / Williams, Rhys; Thompson, Timothy; Orr, Caroline; Taylor, Gillian.

2018. Paper presented at Theoretical Roman Archaeology Camp, Bardon Mill, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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T1 - 3D investigation of Ox crania used for target practice at Vindolanda

AU - Williams, Rhys

AU - Thompson, Timothy

AU - Orr, Caroline

AU - Taylor, Gillian

PY - 2018/9/22

Y1 - 2018/9/22

N2 - This paper explores the use of rapidly-developing 3D imaging techniques for recording ox crania and other artefacts recovered from Vindolanda. Amongst the rare collection at Vindolanda are ox crania with evidence of trauma suspected to be target practice resulting from Roman military occupations.An object is first imaged using a 3D scanner. The scan aligning and fusing process results in a single, textured 3D model that can be viewed without obstruction. Digital enhancement procedures can then be applied to prepare the digital model for 3D printing. This process results in high-quality digital and physical models of the object. When analysing skeletal material, 3D imaging enhances the quality of the bioarchaeological assessments by allowing plane-cutting views and precise measurements of the surface features. A combination of morphological analysis and physical fits of arrowheads recovered from Vindolanda confirm most the trauma in the imaged ox cranium as projectile trauma. The right anterior portion of bone was broken away due to the amount of projectile impacts separating it from the rest of the cranium. However, the lack of fracturing and extensive damage across all the trauma sites showed that relatively weak force was used. There were several additional impact sites that potentially matched a lancehead, caused from behind and likely made for holding the cranium up for targeting.3D imaging proves to be useful in a range of archaeological applications. The digital and 3D printed reconstructions can be handled by the public to effectively engage them with the complex information presented whilst preserving the archaeological record indefinitely.

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M3 - Paper

ER -

Williams R, Thompson T, Orr C, Taylor G. 3D investigation of Ox crania used for target practice at Vindolanda. 2018. Paper presented at Theoretical Roman Archaeology Camp, Bardon Mill, United Kingdom.