Things have been a bit quiet on here for the last week or so – but this is not the case in Bradford! The whole team are now in to the swing of things.

Cameras, ring flashes and lenses have been delivered. These will be used to photograph the bone specimens. The images will then be sent to the team of texturers in Visual Computing, who will overlay the images on to the 3D models.

The 3D laser scanner for the London team has arrived in Bradford and will be commissioned next week (more about that later). Andy Holland will transport the scanner to London, where he will train the London team on how to use it.

In terms of the Osteology and Palaeopathology things are progressing nicely. A disease classification is being fine-tuned, which will aid in specimen selection and also help structure the database (which is in the process of development by Andy Holland and Tom Sparrow).

Tom and Andy hard at work designing the Digitised Diseases database

First up for scanning will be lesions associated with tuberculosis. We have been going through the BARC collections and taking photographs for the Osteology team (headed by Jo Buckberry with Clinical Advisor Keith Manchester and experienced Palaeopathologist Rebecca Storm) to assess, to decide which are the very best exemplars for scanning.

Examples of lesions associated with tuberculosis include: Pott’s disease, Psoas abscesses in the vertebrae and Ossa coxae, septic arthritis as well as rib and cranial lesions. We even have some examples of calcified pleura.

The image below is an example of Pott’s Disease of the spine. This disease was named after Sir Percival Pott, a surgeon at St. Bartholomew’a Hospital in London, who described this deformity in a monograph in 1779.

Pott's Disease of the Spine

Pott’s is usually found in the upper lumbar and lower thoracic vertebrae. There is abscess formation leading to collapse and subsequent fusion of of bones involved.

The characteristic “hunchback” appearance of those affected by Pott’s disease has been portrayed by authors and artists dating back as far as the Egyptian Predynastic period (4500-3000 BC).


Roberts, C. and K. Manchester (2005) The Archaeology of Disease. 3rd ed. Sutton Publishing: Stroud: 187-189