Cite this as: Elliott, J. 2022 Radiographic Technique for Archaeological Human Dry Bones: a scoping review, Internet Archaeology 59. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.59.1
Within archaeological research, radiography has been used with human dry bones to diagnose pathologies, demonstrate trauma and assist age estimation through dentition eruption status. This study concerns the acquisition of radiographs, including technical parameters, imaging workflow and associated quantitative analysis of bone. Collectively, these themes can be grouped under the term radiographic technique. Despite its indispensability, the available guidance literature for appropriate radiographic technique in archaeology appears sparse. The aim of this research was to quantify and characterise current knowledge and recommendations related to radiographic technique. A scoping review was conducted, involving a systematic search of academic literature within the last 20 years. Archaeological academic textbooks and journal articles from any geographical location or time period were included but were limited to studies involving human dry bone and written in the English language. Of 244 potential studies, results identified seventeen journal articles and four academic textbooks with direct recommendations or guidance for radiographic technique. The primary reason for exclusion was the omission of methodological detail. The majority of included texts addressed the identification of pathologies, cortical thickness or detection of Harris lines. While recommendations exist, gaps in the knowledge include dedicated guidelines for specific anatomy and the integration of photography during radiographic imaging.
Corresponding author: James Elliott
Canterbury Christ Church University
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