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Article Reference Le cimetière paroissial de Boussu (Hainaut, VIIe - XIXe siècle). Premiers résultats de l’étude anthropologique.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Surface scanning of anthropological specimens: nominal-actual comparison with low cost laser scanner and high end fringe light projection surface scanning systems.
We tested three surface scanning Systems: the low cost NextEngine laser scanner, the white light Fringe Projection Breuckmann Smartscan and the white light Fringe Projection Steinbichler COMET V 4M. We evaluate the potential of such Systems for digitalizing original anthropological specimens and compare it with a "nominal" 3D model derived from mCT or CT data. Our results show that surface scanning of teeth is generally problematic even for high end systems. Even though studies of the occlusal surface are possible with high end systems, high resolution mCT still has to be considered the best choice for scientific studies dealing with details of the occlusal surface. However, for general digitalization purposes and recording of dimensions even the NextEngine system is suitable. In our tests, Breuckmann Smartscan produced the best models with the lowest deviation compared to the nominal mCTmodel. The Steinbichler is the fastest system but the quality of the resulting models is slightly lower. NextEngine produces a clearly lower quality than the tested high end systems but if one considers the different price margins of the systems, the proportionally good data provided by NextEngine is remarkable. In the case of bones with a simple geometric structure, this low cost scanner can compete easily with 3D models derived from medical CT for gross morphometric studies.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Virtual reconstruction of the Neandertal lower limbs with an estimation of hamstring muscle moment arms
A major problem of fossil hominid analysis is a lack of complete specimens. Many individual specimens have been damaged by the effects of diagenesis and excavation. Significant advances in the field of three dimensional image processing (3D) have enabled the creation of accurately scaled reconstructions of individual fossil bones using mirrored parts of the same fossil bone or human/fossil hominid equivalents. This study presents, for the first time, a method to reconstruct a 3D virtual model of the lower limb of the Neandertal using different bones from different fossil remains (Spy II, Neandertal 1 and Kebara 2) and integrating them into a single model of the Neandertal lower limb. A biomechanical analysis of the model was performed, including computer graphics visualization of the results, motion displacement graphs and muscle moment arms. The overall method has been implemented into an open-source customized software (lhpFusionBox) developed for the biomechanical study of the musculoskeletal system.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Applications of imaging methodologies to paleoanthropology: beneficial results relating to the preservation, management and development of collections
The limited number of unearthed fossils and their accessibility are factors that hinder paleoanthropological studies. Original remains, but also osteological collections of extant specimens, have to be curated in optimal and adapted environments, and direct manipulation needs to be limited in order to preserve this irreplaceable patrimony. Imaging methodologies have recently provided ways for innovative advances in the preservation of these collections, as well as offering new perspectives to museographic displays and original scientific studies. Here, we describe recent examples of developments obtained from imaging methodologies and discuss methodological and ethical implications of these new “virtual” collections. Undeniably, “virtual anthropology” is an additional tool in our large set of analytical possibilities and for curators, with its specific constraints related to the particular nature of the analysed material. Finally, we suggest some possible guidelines for the optimisation of the preservation, management and development of collections while preserving their scientific exploitation.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Characterizing the hypersiliceous rocks of Belgium used in (pre-)history: a case study on sourcing sedimentary quartzites
Abstract Tracking raw material back to its extraction source is a crucial step for archaeologists when trying to deduce migration patterns and trade contacts in (pre-)history. Regarding stone artefacts, the main rock types encountered in the archaeological record of Belgium are hypersiliceous rocks. This is a newly introduced category of rock types comprising those rocks made of at least 90% silica. These are strongly silicified quartz sands or sedimentary quartzites, siliceous rocks of chemical and biochemical origin (e.g. flint), very pure metamorphic quartzites and siliceous volcanic rocks (e.g. obsidian). To be able to distinguish between different extraction sources, ongoing research was started to locate possible extraction sources of hypersiliceous rocks and to characterize rocks collected from these sources. Characterization of these hypersiliceous rocks is executed with the aid of optical polarizing microscopy, optical cold cathodoluminescence and scanning-electron microscopy combined with energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometry and with back-scatter electron imaging. In this paper, we focus on various sedimentary quartzites of Paleogene stratigraphical level.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Experiences with low and high cost 3D surface scanner.
The increasing importance of virtual techniques in archaeology and anthropology puts the question of adequate hardware and software applications for a digitalization of collections for museums and institutions into the focus. Especially the market for mobile 3D scanning developed rapidly during the last years and provides a range of different models suitable for scientific purposes today. As the requirements for archaeological and anthropological applications are very high and differentiated - due to the, in some cases very complex surface morphologies of the objects and the different textures from shiny obsidian to porous bone - the decision for a scanner model is often complicated. The Neanderthal Museum and the Royal Belgian Institute of Sciences have been testing six different surface scanner from four companies during the last months concerning their suitability for archaeological and anthropological objects. Quality of the 3D models was rated by the visibility and exactness of standard attributes used for classification of the object type in archaeology or anthropology. Results are presented here. Generally, all types of archaeological and anthropological objects can be digitalized with surface scanner. If a high end or a low budget model should be used depends on the texture of the object and the intended purpose.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference New data on the late Neandertals: direct dating of the Belgian Spy fossils.
In Eurasia, the period between 40,000 and 30,000 BP saw the replacement of Neandertals by anatomically modern humans (AMH) during and after the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition. The human fossil record for this period is very poorly defined with no overlap between Neandertals and AMH on the basis of direct dates. Four new (14)C dates were obtained on the two adult Neandertals from Spy (Belgium). The results show that Neandertals survived to at least approximately 36,000 BP in Belgium and that the Spy fossils may be associated to the Lincombian-Ranisian-Jerzmanowician, a transitional techno-complex defined in northwest Europe and recognized in the Spy collections. The new data suggest that hypotheses other than Neandertal acculturation by AMH may be considered in this part of Europe.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Chronologic and geographic variability of neurovascular structures in the human mandible.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the dimensions of mandibular anatomical landmarks of human mandibles of three different chronological periods and seven different geographic regions. METHODS: Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images were acquired fromhuman mandibles of three different chronological periods (Neolithic, Medieval and 19-20th Century). The 19-20th Century consisted of seven human mandibular samples from different geographic locations. Image analysis consisted of comparing anatomic variability and dimensions of the mandibular, lingual and incisive canals, mental foramen and their relationship to specific reference teeth as such to determine geographic region and historic period variabilities. RESULTS: Therewere statistically significant differences between the 19-20th Century group andthe Medieval and Neolithic groups. The 19-20th Century group differed significantly in mandibular canal diameter, tooth root length, length of the lateral lingual canal. In addition, the group also differed from the Medieval sample for the lateral lingual foramen diameter and the midline lingual canal length. Furthermore, the prevalence of anatomic variations was significantly different for the geographic samples tested, with double mental foramina significantly more present in the Congolese sample, and significantly more lateral lingual canals noted in Indonesian and Greenland Eskimo samples. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that mandibular neurovascularisation may show some geographic as well as historic variation. Further studies on larger data samples are needed to verify this statement, as such that it can be potentially used in anthropology and forensic dentistry. More research is also needed to address whether the geographic and historic variations are linked, as well to investigate evolutionary trends in these structures.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference The Spy VI child: a newly discovered Neandertal infant.
Spy cave (Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, Belgium) is reputed for the two adult Neandertal individuals discovered in situ in 1886. Recent reassessment of the Spy collections has allowed direct radiocarbon dating of these individuals. The sorting of all of the faunal collections has also led to the discovery of the remains of a Neandertal child, Spy VI. This individual is represented by two mandibular corpus fragments. The left fragment is the most complete and both sides preserve the mental foramen. Four deciduous teeth are associated with these mandibular remains: three incisors and one canine. The lower left canine (Spy 645a) conjoins with the corresponding alveolar socket in the left part of the mandible. Following extant standards, the developmental stage of the preserved teeth indicate an age at death of about one and a half years. In addition to performing a classical morphometric comparative study of the mandible and teeth,we have evaluated the dental tissue proportions using high-resolution microtomographic techniques. Our results show that Spy VI generally falls withinthe Neandertal range of variation. However, this specimen also exhibits particular traits, notably in the dental internal structural organization, whichreveals that variation in the immature Neandertal variation is larger than what was variation currently represented by the available fossil record. These observations demonstrate the need for investigating the frequency and expressionof immature Neandertal traits in fossil anterior teeth, as well as their temporal and geographic variation. Direct radiocarbon dating of the Spy VI specimen has been conducted in two different laboratories. The results of Spy VI confirm the age previously determined for the two adults, making the Spy Neandertal remains the youngest ever directly dated in northwest Europe.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Microfossils in calculus demonstrate consumption of plants and cooked foods in Neanderthal diets (Shanidar III, Iraq; Spy I and II, Belgium).
The nature and causes of the disappearance of Neanderthals and their apparent replacement by modern humans are subjects of considerable debate. Many researchers have proposed biologically or technologically mediated dietary differences between the two groups as one of the fundamental causes of Neanderthal disappearance. Some scenarios have focused on the apparent lack of plant foods in Neanderthal diets. Here we report direct evidence for Neanderthalconsumption of a variety of plant foods, in the form of phytoliths and starch grains recovered from dental calculus of Neanderthal skeletons from Shanidar Cave, Iraq, and Spy Cave, Belgium. Some of the plants are typical of recent modern human diets, including date palms (Phoenix spp.), legumes, and grass seeds (Triticeae), whereas others are known to be edible but are not heavily used today. Many of the grass seed starches showed damage that is a distinctive marker of cooking. Our results indicate that in both warm eastern Mediterranean and cold northwestern European climates, and across their latitudinal range, Neanderthalsmade use of the diverse plant foods available in their local environment and transformed them into more easily digestible foodstuffs in part through cooking them, suggesting an overall sophistication in Neanderthal dietary regimes.
Located in Library / RBINS collections by external author(s)