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CoRIPS Research funding - Success!

I'll start my paleoradiography research in September 2020


The money shall be used in accordance with the accepted application, although I've a small amount put aside for unforeseen costs.



I am wildly excited to announce that my application for CoRIPS research funding has been successful! It was quite a feat of inter-departmental and inter-institutional agreements. I have managed to get the NHS, CCCU and the Canterbury Archaeological Trust to all agree with each other so that I can abscond from work and learn about radiography of dry human bones. Five thousand pounds to spend on buying out my time from the NHS, paying the rail fare and going towards equipment costs. At the last hurdle it seemed as though one of the trio would retract their cooperation, but thankfully they saw the benefit of the arrangement in the end.




The CoRIPS scheme is specifically for radiographers within the United Kingdom (diagnostic or therapeutic). Competition for the funding is fierce.



My first efforts shall be to collect literature that provide recommendations for radiography of dry human remains. When I first joined the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology I put out a request for information regarding the 'correct' way of x-ray imaging human bones. The BABAO community were very forthcoming, I had plentiful responses that all said the same thing - talk to a radiographer. Ah, of course I had to come clean and state I was a radiographer, but that I normally only image the living. A few emails later and it seemed as though there were no clear recommendations for radiography of dry human remains. And so my research idea began.


A while later, I've read extensively on the subject of bone analysis using anthropological and radiological methods (i.e. looking at pathologies and injuries using modern medical imaging as a comparison). I've already found some literature that will help to answer the question of 'what is best practice', but so far it does not seem to be something that has been investigated in great detail. I suppose most people who use it in archaeology (or forensic imaging) just get on with it and generate an image that answers the clinical / forensic question. My suspicion is that greater scientific information may be systematically extracted from x-rays that are undertaken in a more formal manner.


I also believe that multi-modal imaging is required for dry human bones. A lot of the text book literature I've been reading states that the human eye can examine bones sufficiently to detect pathologies and trauma without needing any more advanced imaging. The lack of soft tissues on dry bones, and the fact that they are no longer attached to one another, means that the investigator can pick the up to view them from any angle and apply direct measurement of the anatomy. However... radiography may still play a vital role to identify preservation status, confirmation of pathologies and act as a quantitative tool in reconstructing the biological profile of the deceased. In essence, I believe both photography and radiography should be used in tandem as non-destructive methods of recording the deceased.


This means I will need to learn how to conduct photography, not something I'm terribly good at.




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