The Use of Three-Dimensional Scanning and Surface Capture Methods in Recording Forensic Taphonomic Traces: Issues of Technology, Visualisation, and Validation

Patrick S. Randolph-Quinney, Stephen D. Haines, Ashley Kruger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) space capture is now routinely applied in forensic practice. This has often taken the form of using pseudo-3D visualisations such as 360{\textdegree} photography (return to scene) or digital photogrammetry or true 3D space capture using laser scanning (to derive surfaces), or total station survey methods (to derive Cartesian coordinates). Often these are used to record topography and spatial distributions at crime scenes and may be used to provide a spatial archive of evidence found at a scene or as an aid in visualisation for courtroom purposes. However, there is a growing interest in the use of 3D data capture methods for recording and analysing taphonomic evidence, both for purposes of recording and data sharing, but also to facilitate formal taphonomic analyses which are often qualitative with regard to taphonomic trace criteria. However, as the application of 3D data in taphonomy is a relatively new phenomenon, there remains little consensus on what equipment and imaging modalities are either appropriate or indeed best, to use, and whether digital models of taphonomic traces are analytically valid or verifiable. This paper sets out to highlight and evaluate a number of technological approaches, visualisation methods, post-capture processing methods, and analytical criteria for effective 3D data acquisition of taphonomic traces. We provide an overview of current trends and possible future directions in the application of 3D capture and imaging methods for taphonomic research and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultidisciplinary Approaches to Forensic Archaeology
PublisherSpringer
Pages115-130
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-94397-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-94396-1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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