Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



ABSTRACT This research was designed to isolate a standard 3D scanning methodology using a popular 3D scanner (NextEngine®) used in biological anthropology to reproduce research-quality human skeletal remains. Settings using NextEngine® hardware were determined through three successive studies. The first study used minimum settings to create a topography of nine postcranial bones excavated from a Maya archaeological site, Moho Cay, Belize. The research was conducted in Louisiana State University’s (LSU) Digital Imaging and Visualization in Archaeology (DIVA) Lab. The resulting 3D scans were visually compared to the original bone specimens for similarities in five categories. The similarity ratings were used to determine the usefulness of the scans for display, teaching, and research. Display-quality scans were at least 50% similar and represented a general likeness of the bone. Teaching-quality scans were at least 75% similar and showed general bone shape and features. Research-quality scans were required to have a 100% similarity. All of the 3D scans were display-quality, and half were similar enough to be used for teaching. No research-quality scans were created in the first study. The second study expanded that research by using the NextEngine® at variable settings to scan an os coxa (hip bone) from Moho Cay, Belize. The 3D scans were evaluated metrically using arbitrary measurements and evaluated through paired t-tests. The 3D scans were visually assessed using the five categories from the first study. Visual age and sex analyses were also conducted. A scanner setting was isolated that was visually and metrically accurate. To test the applicability of the settings determined from the second study, the third study focused on applying the determined standard to 20 modern hip bones provided by the Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) Lab at LSU. All hip bones were visually analyzed for age and sex, as well as for similarity using the same five categories. Standard os coxa measurements were taken from the scans and the specimens and compared using paired t-tests. The results from the third study supported the second study’s assertions. Using the 3D scanning standards derived through this research produced research-quality hip bone scans.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

McKillop, Heather