Computer Models and Applications for the Management of Anthropological Data

di Francesco Coschino , Antonio Fornaciari, Simona Minozzi

Articolo inserito il 01 gennaio 2010

Recent developments in the excavation and osteological studies of human skeletal remains have shown the need to adopt a computer and digital approach, which is both practical and methodological, and able to integrate the knowledge and skills acquired in recent years by different branches of  archaeoantropologi- cal studies, using modern and innovative tools. JASs has repeatedly promoted a “renewal” of the practices related to information management, both through the creation of the forum “Sharing databases in digital Anthropology” (Bruner, 2009), and through the publication of many international works linked to this topic (Canals et al., 2008). To this aim, it is clear that the first step consists in creating a set of integrated appli- cations, capable of managing the various areas investigated in this widespread field. In order to address the management of large amounts of anthropological and paleopathological data and their subsequent processing and interpretation, the Division of Paleopathology of the University of Pisa has created an extensive project relating to excavation and laboratory activities designed to develop a number of data storage protocols and subsequent inclusion into a GIS  system (for an extended version of this project see Coschino, 2009).

This project has been essentially organized into a tripartite structure; the information sys- tem includes two main protocols designed by the research team of the Division of Paleopathology.


(University of Pisa) which work on an OS Windows™: 1. the software SIUS manages the skeletal unit computer records, which aim to store all the archaeological, taphonomic and anthropological data recorded on the field during archaeological excavation; 2. the soft- ware BONES stores and handles the dozens of anthropological and paleopathological records compiled during the examination of the skeletal remains in the laboratory. The GIS system allows interaction between the protocols using the two types of software