Documenting Procedures

Paleoimaging procedures should be shared with the scientific and academic communities in order to help validate, standardize, and demonstrate reproducible field methodology. A critical part of the field paleoimaging procedures naturally becomes photographic documentation. Photography is necessary to record the technological aspects of the research project. When coupled with images of the study context, photographs of the instruments used in that study are important in order to provide interested researchers with ideas of what types of paleoimaging tools work in what settings. For example, specific endoscopes are selected for specific endoscopic tasks. A small-diameter scope may be used when the opening into the cultural material is very small, while a very long endoscope (Figure 1.8) with supplementary illumination may be used to explore a tomb prior to excavation. The instruments used for each of these applications are unique. Photographs will provide a record of what instrument was matched to which task.

Field paleoimaging contexts challenge paleoimagers with many varied situations and physical conditions in which to set up their instruments. Even within the same project, several setups or instrument configurations may be required to attain the desired view or projection. In order to explain exactly how an image was acquired, photographic documentation of the unique setups is required. Figure 1.9 shows a variety of setup situations for field paleoimaging equipment. These photographs will inform interested parties as to the possible equipment configurations when faced with a similar imaging challenge in a

Figure 1.8 Photographic documentation of a 30 ft (9.14 m) portable endoscope used for specific research. The photograph tells future researchers which specific technology was employed for a specific application.
Figure 1.9 Photographic documentation of varied paleoimaging instrumentation setups. Top left: Endoscopy setup. Top right: Portable radiographic unit and image receptor in field setting. Bottom right: Fixed radiographic unit in a remote research facility. Bottom left: unique instrument panel.

different setting. As you will read in Chapter 2, using native or local materials is often the best way to solve unique equipment setup problems.

Of particular interest to field paleoimaging is the construction of a light-tight space for x-ray film loading and changing. Also, important is the film processing setup (Figure 1.10). Although the construction of darkrooms and film processing space is discussed in greater detail in Chapter 2, it is important to mention here the necessity of photographic documentation of these creations. Each field setting will be different from the last, and the more photographic documentation of these unique setups, the less time will be spent reinventing the process.

Another important aspect of photography used in field paleoimaging is that of documenting specific techniques. Any unusual technique, such as a radiograph taken from 40 ft (12.19 m) away from the subject, should be photodocumented. Another example of a special technique would be the imaging of several objects placed on a single image receptor at one time (Figure 1.11). When a radiograph is reviewed for interpretation, the image can be somewhat abstract to those unfamiliar with looking at x-rays, particularly if they do not know or cannot discern the direction or distance from which the x-ray was taken. A photograph taken from the point of view (POV) of the x-ray tube is useful in providing anatomical orientation. The POV photograph coupled with the radiographic image helps lessen the potential of misinterpretation due to lack of proper orientation (Figure 1.12). In the case of endoscopic examination, the entry route into the cultural material must be photographed to orient individuals viewing the endoscopic images to the appropriate anatomical region being studied (Figure 1.13).

Figure 1.10 Photographic documentation of (clockwise from top left) radiographic unit setup, x-ray film processing in darkroom, film rinsing station, and film drying method.

Any and all field paleoimaging procedures should be photographed in a pre- and postprocedure manner. In particular, any procedures that alter or have the potential to alter the cultural material in any way must be photographed in a pre- and postproce-dure fashion. Since these photographs have great implications for future researchers,

Figure 1.11 Photographic documentation of a special radiographic procedure: imaging multiple artifacts on a single film.
Figure 1.12 Photographic PoV documentation serving to orient the viewer in order to assist with orientation and interpretation.
Figure 1.13 Photographic documentation of endoscopic entry routes used to orient the endo-scopic image with the object.
Figure 1.14 Photographic documentation of organic structure following removal from the original context. shown here is abdominal and coprolite material with scale.

depending on the procedure, the pre- and postprocedure photograph series should be obtained with an orientation to scale. For example, if it is determined that an artificial opening is to be made in an attempt to biopsy material from within remains or artifacts, the procedure narrative must be accompanied with pre- and postprocedure artificial opening photographs. If the procedure involves an actual biopsy or artifact retrieval from within the remains, photographs of the retrieval should be taken. Photographs of the biopsied material or retrieved artifact should be taken once out of the remains or other context in a scientific manner, including orientation to scale (Figure 1.14).

As previously stated, field paleoimaging presents researchers with many logistical and technological challenges. Each situation is unique and requires critical thinking and problem solving. Once the procedural problems are resolved, photographs of the technical improvisations may help future researchers who find themselves in similar situations.

Often in field paleoimaging projects, the resultant image shows a unique object or structure that appears to be on the surface of the cultural material. Whenever possible, close-up or macrophotography of specific surface targets may be warranted. There are many indications for macrophotography from both an anthropological and archaeological perspective. What we are referring to here is the photographic documentation of those surface features that may explain images obtained through radiography, endoscopy, or advanced imaging modalities (Figure 1.15). For example, x-ray penetration through a set of human remains may have been impeded by sand or dried mud adhering to the part of the remains being imaged. A photographic record of the surface substance helps explain the "opacity" seen on the radiograph. In some cases, an x-ray will reveal a small metallic object often used as offerings or surface adornments in some ancient cultures (Figure 1.16). Due to the overall condition of the remains and the centuries of accumulated surface debris, the metallic object is not readily located visually. The radiograph tells the photographer

Figure 1.15 (See color insert following page 12.) Macrophotography showing the details of anatomical anomaly also seen on radiograph. The correlational analysis of the radiograph and the macrophotograph enhance the understanding of the anomaly. Also shown here is the use of "raking," a lighting technique used to accentuate desired features.

Figure 1.15 (See color insert following page 12.) Macrophotography showing the details of anatomical anomaly also seen on radiograph. The correlational analysis of the radiograph and the macrophotograph enhance the understanding of the anomaly. Also shown here is the use of "raking," a lighting technique used to accentuate desired features.

where to search for the surface object and, if found, a macrophotograph can be taken to document the important feature (Figure 1.17).

The importance of photography of the many technical aspects and procedures of field paleoimaging also serves to create a record of innovations and ideas that worked, as well as those that did not work. The pre- and postprocedure photographs are critical to the

Figure 1.16 Radiograph showing metallic adornments near the eyes of the mummified remains.
Figure 1.17 (see color insert following page 12.) Macrophotographic documentation of the metallic structures over the eyes of the mummified remains. The radiograph alerted the photographer to the existence of the unique metallic object, which could then be located and documented.

documentation of the impact of paleoimaging. The surface macro and POV photography assist with the interpretability of the paleoimaging images and enhance the potential for differential diagnoses.

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