Measuring the shape: performance evaluation of a photogrammetry improvement applied to the Neanderthal skull Saccopastore 1

Costantino Buzi, Ileana Micarelli, Antonio Profico, Jacopo Conti, Roberto Grassetti, Walter Cristiano, Fabio Di Vincenzo, Mary Anne Tafuri, Giorgio Manzi


Several digital technologies are nowadays developed and applied to the study of the human fossil record. Here, we present a low-cost hardware implementation of the digital acquisition via photogrammetry, applied to a specimen of paleoanthropological interest: the Neanderthal skull Saccopastore 1. Such implementation has the purpose to semi-automatize the procedures of digital acquisition, by the introduction of an automatically rotating platform users can easily build on their own with minimum costs. We provide all the technical specifications, mostly based on the Arduino UNO™ microcontroller technology, and evaluate the performance and the resolution of the acquisition by comparing it with the CT-scan of the same specimen through the calculation of their shape differences. In our opinion, the replication of the automatic rotating platform, described in this work, may contribute to the improvement of the digital acquisition processes and may represent, in addition, a useful and affordable tool for both research and dissemination.

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