Although there is a growing body of literature considering paleoimaging of human remains, not much has been written describing the application of paleoimaging modalities to artifact analysis. Application of imaging methods to objects of antiquity, such as grave goods and ceramics, can yield vast amounts of information regarding not only the cultural aspects of the larger group but also the possible significance of those objects to the individual. The data may also describe the degree of sophistication of ancient technologies, the nature of the materials used, and the interrelatedness of construction features across populations.
In addition to critical information regarding technologies, materials used, and the possible meanings associated with grave goods, imaging can also yield clues as to the temporal context. Identification of the location and state of preservation of grave goods may also help in directing unwrapping procedures, artifact extraction, and conservation efforts. Additionally, endoscopy can yield data regarding the structure and nature of tombs used for interred individuals or artifacts. Imaging analyses prior to opening or excavation of a tomb provide critical data that can help direct those efforts.
In this section, we present three chapters, which describe the imaging techniques used to obtain necessary data from various artifacts. Chapter 7 describes the use of paleoimaging as it relates to the analysis of the internal context, or those artifacts within mummified remains or their wrappings. Internal context artifacts may include such objects as grave goods and those objects that assist in the determination of the temporal context. Chapter 8 discusses the methods and value of assessing those artifacts of the external context that may be associated with mummified remains but are not within the mummy itself or its wrappings. A variety of objects fall into this category; a primary group of external context artifacts is ceramics that may be directly associated with the remains or dissociated but have a high probability of being related to the remains. Tomb construction and preexcava-tion analysis also represent the associated external context, adding to our understanding of cultural burial practices. Finally, in Chapter 9, we describe the application of imaging methods to objects that are completely out of context, including certain objects of antiquity such as museum pieces, animal mummies, works of art for conservation assessment, and for artifact construction analysis. In Chapter 9, we also present cases in which fakes are "discovered" through imaging procedures.
Paleoimaging the Internal Context
RONALD BECKETT AND GERALD CONLOGUE
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