Endoscopic Laboratory and Field Applications

The power of the VE in archaeological and anthropological applications is truly realized in the field. However, some cases require more powerful complementary imaging tools that cannot be transported to the site because of their size, necessitating VE application in the laboratory or imaging center. Additionally, any new field application and training on the field use of VE should be initially conducted under laboratory conditions. As each supporting imaging technique is discussed, notation is made regarding it being a field or laboratory application. As a discussion of data that can be collected is presented, the need for laboratory practice will become apparent. The portability of the VE makes it a useful tool for data collection in remote and tight spaces. Videoendoscopy has been applied in varied environments such as jungles, under water, within tombs and crypts, and in open extreme environments such as deserts or wet rain forests. Regardless of VE application in the field or in the laboratory, knowing where you are and where you are going within an object is paramount. Knowledge of anatomical landmarks, appearances of desiccated tissues, and practice all aid in knowing what is seen and what data need to be collected. Without this experience and knowledge, the data collected via videoendoscopy may not only be confusing but can also lead to gross misinterpretations. Individuals who wish to include videoendoscopy in their paleoimaging data collection instrumentation should first apprentice with a seasoned endoscopist and bioarchaeologist.

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