Standards Methods and Procedures

Another critical issue surrounding paleoimaging research is that of methodological and procedural standards. Many reports in the literature often omit specific details regarding technical factors, such as radiographic exposure settings, data recording media, specific instrumentation, or endoscopic lenses used as related to the imaging data collected. Another issue is that many who are new to the paleoimaging arena may be experienced at gathering data and interpreting images produced from living subjects but not from mummified remains. Mummies, for the most part, are completely desiccated. The desiccation process, as well as many artificial preparation procedures creating that mummy, alters the manner in which imaging data can be attained for maximal interpretability. Collecting images that call for a new exposure setting or positioning approach may not be considered due to a lack of experience in operating the equipment in archaeological or anthropological contexts. Interpretation, too, can be challenging to the untrained eye. The morphologic changes seen in organ systems among the varied mummification processes, for example, may lead to misinterpretation of the significance of structures by someone who is accustomed to interpreting images from hydrated, living patients.

In Paleoimaging: Field Applications for Cultural Remains and Artifacts, Section II, Paleoimaging Standards, the authors offer application standards for the varied imaging modalities as applied to this specific line of research. The methodological and procedural standards offered in this text are intended to assist researchers in obtaining the desired data in an accurate, efficient, and reproducible manner.

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