by Dr. Jo Buckberry

Every now and then I’m amazed at how much detail can been seen in the raw scans (before texturing). The other week I popped into the lab to ask Andy Holland something and was struck by this image on his screen, of the aligned scans of a cranial fragment:

What I saw immediately wasn’t the pathology, but rather was a post-mortem break which had been stuck back together many years ago:

Of course that’s easy to spot if you know the bone in question, but this could easily be mistaken for pathology based on the scan alone – which is why the texture photographs and pathological descriptions are so important. So, all in all, that was two positives to me – the scans do pick up lots of very small details, but the interpretation is so much easier if they have been textured – but in some cases a good description is essential too! I think that explains why our approach is working so well.