The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-5/W7
13 Aug 2015
 | 13 Aug 2015

A Study on Generic Representation of Skeletal Remains Replication of Prehistoric Burial

C.-W. Shao, H.-L. Chiu, and S.-K. Chang

Keywords: Skeletal Remains, 3D Scanning, Reverse Engineering, Rapid prototyping

Abstract. Generic representation of skeletal remains from burials consists of three dimensions which include physical anthropologists, replication technicians, and promotional educators. For the reason that archaeological excavation is irreversible and disruptive, detail documentation and replication technologies are surely needed for many purposes. Unearthed bones during the process of 3D digital scanning need to go through reverse procedure, 3D scanning, digital model superimposition, rapid prototyping, mould making, and the integrated errors generated from the presentation of colours and textures are important issues for the presentation of replicate skeleton remains among professional decisions conducted by physical anthropologists, subjective determination of makers, and the expectations of viewers. This study presents several cases and examines current issues on display and replication technologies for human skeletal remains of prehistoric burials.

This study documented detail colour changes of human skeleton over time for the reference of reproduction. The tolerance errors of quantification and required technical qualification is acquired according to the precision of 3D scanning, the specification requirement of rapid prototyping machine, and the mould making process should following the professional requirement for physical anthropological study. Additionally, the colorimeter is adopted to record and analyse the “colour change” of the human skeletal remains from wet to dry condition. Then, the “colure change” is used to evaluate the “real” surface texture and colour presentation of human skeletal remains, and to limit the artistic presentation among the human skeletal remains reproduction.

The“Lingdao man No.1”, is a well preserved burial of early Neolithic period (8300 B.P.) excavated from Liangdao-Daowei site, Matsu, Taiwan , as the replicating object for this study. In this study, we examined the reproduction procedures step by step for ensuring the surface texture and colour of the replica matches the real human skeletal remains when discovered. The “colour change” of the skeleton documented and quantified in this study could be the reference for the future study and educational exhibition of human skeletal remain reproduction.