The advantages of conventional radiography for field applications are numerous. Conventional radiography provides the ability to "see" within objects such as mummy bundles, coffins, and wrapped artifacts. In addition, radiographs allow for the assessment of structures within structures. For example, not only can the radiograph provide an image of skeletal structures within a wrapped bundle, but it may also reveal a tumor within the bones.
Radiography can be portable, making it possible to image skeletal and mummified remains and artifacts at or close to the recovery site. It is the optimal modality for initial
examination in that it may minimize damage to potentially fragile remains with least disruption of taphonomy. The initial radiographs can be used to determine the necessity and objectives of advanced imaging procedures and may help direct conservation efforts.
The radiographic unit is usually durable and reliable as long as it is packed well for travel and not used beyond its capabilities. Photographic paper using a Polaroid screened or nonscreened cassette provides maximum flexibility in getting the desired images with minimal waste and without the need for developing chemistry.
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