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USING HUMAN REMAINS IN TEACHING & PRACTICING ARCHAEOLOGY ALTERNATIVE RESOURCES USING CAST AND VIRTUAL MATERIAL TO TEACH OSTEOLOGY: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS.

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Presentation on theme: "USING HUMAN REMAINS IN TEACHING & PRACTICING ARCHAEOLOGY ALTERNATIVE RESOURCES USING CAST AND VIRTUAL MATERIAL TO TEACH OSTEOLOGY: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS."— Presentation transcript:

1 USING HUMAN REMAINS IN TEACHING & PRACTICING ARCHAEOLOGY ALTERNATIVE RESOURCES USING CAST AND VIRTUAL MATERIAL TO TEACH OSTEOLOGY: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS Dr Tim Thompson FFSSoc FRAI Reader in Biological & Forensic Anthropology tjuthompson.com Teesside University t.thompson@tees.ac.uk T: (01642) 342535

2 USING HUMAN REMAINS IN TEACHING & PRACTICING ARCHAEOLOGY ALTERNATIVE RESOURCES IN ARCHAEOLOGY Dr Tim Thompson FFSSoc FRAI Reader in Biological & Forensic Anthropology tjuthompson.com Teesside University t.thompson@tees.ac.uk T: (01642) 342535

3 WHAT ARE ‘ALTERNATIVE RESOURCES’? Casts vs Computer Models vs Photographs vs Videos

4 WHY USE ALTERNATIVE RESOURCES? The problems with human remains: Delicate, fragile, finite resource Cultural & ethical reservations Legal restrictions (HTA, NAGPRA) Multiple claims/demands on their use The attraction of alternative methods: Greater quantities More varied range available for use Use out of the lab Greater interactivity

5 WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THESE ALTERNATIVE RESOURCES? The Teesside challenge: No anthropology degrees or modules – forensic sci/bio, CSS Limited prior osteological experience Limited lecture/lab time to cover bones Non-standard student population demands increased flexibility Proven challenges with the 3d comprehension of bone morphology Kaplan, 1964 – the law of the instrument: “Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding.” The importance of having a clear pedagogical reason to explore these alternative methods.

6 NON-CONTACT SCANNING @david_errickson: pic.twitter.com/Ea22p8ambm Radiography: Mainly CT-based models Living, known info samples Surface information? Scanning: Mainly laser or structured light Surface detail, but not internal Portable Smaller file size

7 WHAT DOES THE POINT CLOUD ACTUALLY MEAN..? What is real and what is an artefact of the scanning process? Does it really matter, anyway? What are the optimum scanning conditions – best practice?

8 ARTISTIC LICENCE & TECHNOLOGICAL PERSUASIVENESS Thompson, 2008 – Photography & Culture, v1(2): “This raises an important question: at what point does the camera lose its objectivity when its output shifts from documentary to creative art?” Errickson, 2014 – The influence of computer models of bones on juries as opposed to photographs Will there be a similar response in students?

9 RAPID PROTOTYPING Problems & potentials of rapid prototyping: + Cheap mass production, bespoke models - Still developing methods, some not so robust, some have poor detail @david_errickson: pic.twitter.com/1FQrUckyHO

10 CASTS Problems & potentials of casts: + Variety, robust, can do a lot of different exercises with them - Quality, anthropological detail, cost, storage

11 USING HUMAN REMAINS IN TEACHING & PRACTICING ARCHAEOLOGY OTHER EXTERNAL CONSIDERATIONS Dr Tim Thompson FFSSoc FRAI Reader in Biological & Forensic Anthropology tjuthompson.com Teesside University t.thompson@tees.ac.uk T: (01642) 342535

12 THE QUANTIFICATION OF FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY The Daubert tests for forensic science are reproduced in a number of publications (such as Christensen and Crowder, 2009; Grivas and Komar, 2008; Holobinko, 2012; Sommer, 2010), but can be thought of as the following: o That the theory or technique must be falsifiable, refutable and testable, that is subject to empirical testing; o That the theory or technique has been subjected to peer-review and publication; o That error rates are known or can be calculated; o That the theory or technique is generally accepted by the relevant scientific community, and; o That standards and controls concerning the application of a given technique exist and are maintained.

13 USING HUMAN REMAINS IN TEACHING & PRACTICING ARCHAEOLOGY CONCLUSIONS Dr Tim Thompson FFSSoc FRAI Reader in Biological & Forensic Anthropology tjuthompson.com Teesside University t.thompson@tees.ac.uk T: (01642) 342535

14 ALTERNATIVE RESOURCES TO TEACH OSTEOLOGY PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS There are a number of alternative resources available… o Cheaper o Wider access o Resolve a range of classroom and teaching issues …and they all have their pros and cons. However... o Successful use in lessons often requires a conceptual shift o There is a cost to their development, maintenance and support o Need to consider that the public will have increasing access to these resources …but, there are some exciting teaching possibilities ahead.

15 USING HUMAN REMAINS IN TEACHING & PRACTICING ARCHAEOLOGY ALTERNATIVE RESOURCES USING CAST AND VIRTUAL MATERIAL TO TEACH OSTEOLOGY: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS Dr Tim Thompson FFSSoc FRAI Reader in Biological & Forensic Anthropology tjuthompson.com Teesside University t.thompson@tees.ac.uk T: (01642) 342535


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