Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mystery Object Revealed!

At first glance, this artifact did not appear to be anything particularly special - a chunk of rust and corrosion found in a box with other rusted metal pieces from a historic site collection held by the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. Our imaging lab tech Zoe was in the midst of performing various proof of concept tests on the MicroCT, and we decided that this would be an interesting piece to scan. We had no idea what we would find below the rust - historic sites often yield a wide array of metal artifacts, and our mystery piece could be one of any number of things. Or was their nothing to discover at all - could this simply be a piece of rust that had broken off of another object?

As seen in the video, using the MicroCT, Zoe was able to isolate and strip away the less-dense layers of rust and corrosion, revealing two small thin metal objects below. Mystery artifact appears to be (drumroll please) - a nail! Or, at least one nail, and possibly part of another. What do you think the mystery object could be?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ever Seen a Snake Shed its Skin?

 This week we have another video to share from the Sustainable Archaeology MicroCT scanner - this time featuring a preserved Fox Snake that through screen shots and a video digitally "sheds" its skin to expose the skeleton below. Using the MicroCT's reconstruction software, our imaging lab tech Zoe was able to isolate and expose the more-dense skeleton by digitally removing the less-dense flesh and skin of the snake - allowing us to see inside the snake digitally and non-destructively. 


From left to right, see the snake's skin digitally removed to expose the preserved skeleton below.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Our First MicroCT Videos

Our lab tech Zoe has produced two videos demonstrating different ways of viewing artifacts on the MicroCT scanner. The artifact seen in the two videos is a black bear carpal (a bone from the bear's paw) that shows evidence of either a past injury or of a pathology or disease that resulted in physical changes to the bear's bone. As you can see in the first video posted below, as with Sustainable Archaeology's 3D digitizers, objects scanned on the MicroCT can be rotated fully on-screen when using the reconstruction software. The second video demonstrates the unique (and really cool!) capability of the MicroCT to see all aspects of an artifact by "slicing" through the digital object - allowing us in this case to see the interior makeup of the bone. While we've shown off to some extent this ability to slice through materials via screen shots in previous blog posts, the video really demonstrates the ability to view artifacts from inside-out.