Gigapixel-like imaging strategies for dental anthropology

The most recent paper authored by John C. Willman (CIAS) in collaboration with Marina Lozano, Raquel Hernando and Josep Maria Vergès was published by the journal Quaternary International (In Press).

The work, entitled Gigapixel-like imaging strategies for dental anthropology: Applications for scientific communication and training in digital image analysis, concentrates on examples of macro- to microscopic features on dental tissues using SEM as a means of creating multi-scale mosaic images for didactic purposes ranging from scientific publication to teaching and outreach. 

The complete text is available in HERE.

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Abstract

Gigapixel and gigapixel-like (GPL) imaging strategies are a powerful means of communicating scientific results of visual observations in academic and public spheres. GPL images are made from a photomosaic of multiple, adjacent extended focus images, which allows users to “pan and zoom” across a surface to document or analyze specific features. Microscopic approaches using GPL imaging strategies are gaining popularity in use-wear analyses of lithics and bone implements but have not been applied to the study of human skeletal or dental remains. Here we present three examples of GPL imaging using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of the dental surfaces of teeth excavated from the Chalcolithic contexts of El Mirador Cave (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain). Numerous common features are identifiable in the GPL examples from El Mirador Cave that include wear features (e.g., enamel chipping, labial striations), perikymata, calculus deposits, hypoplasias, and postmortem taphonomic features. One GPL example shows a less-commonly documented pair of lingual surface features (i.e., lingual surface attrition of the maxillary anterior teeth [LSAMAT] and a continuous cingular lesion [CCL]) for which co-occurrence has not been previously documented. Another example using a combination of GPL, macrophotography, and additional high magnification SEM images shows a case of chemical erosion on a labial surface of the tooth – a seldom documented form of wear in bioarchaeological contexts. This latter example also highlights the complementary nature of SEM (and GPL) with digital macrophotography for documenting dental wear features. Together, these examples illustrate the utility of GPL images of dental surfaces for didactic purposes and analysis.

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https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2020.05.027

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Gigapixel-like imaging strategies for dental anthropology

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