Paleoradiology: imaging mummies and fossils by R.K. Chhem, D.R. Brothwell

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By R.K. Chhem, D.R. Brothwell

Paleoradiology is using X-rays and complex scientific imaging modalities within the overview of historic human and animal skeletons in addition to organic fabrics from archaeological websites. Paleoradiological stories were played on mummies, skeletal continues to be and fossils to figure out their intercourse and age at demise. “Diagnostic paleoradiology” is using X-ray reports to notice historic ailments. The vast variety of subject matters and imaging suggestions during this quantity displays 4 many years of analysis undertaken by means of Don Brothwell within the fields of anthropology, human paleopathology, and zooarchaeology, mixed with 20 years of skeletal radiology event within which Rethy Chhem learn over 150,000 skeletal X-ray and CT studies.

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Sample text

Xrays are produced at the anode by two principle processes: Bremsstrahlung radiation and characteristic x-ray production (Johns and Cunningham 1984). The former is named for the German word for braking, producing x-rays with a continuous range of energies, with the maximum energy rays equal to the selected kVp. Characteristic x-rays occur at discrete energy levels. Characteristic x-rays result when an outer shell electron drops to fill the vacancy created when an inner shell electron is knocked from the atom.

A schematic of x-ray imaging system components. A power supply creates a voltage (peak kilovoltage, kVp) across the ends of an x-ray tube. This directs an electron beam from the cathode toward the anode. The electron beam produces xrays that pass through the specimen to be captured at the image receptor, which is converted into a radiographic image There are currently several types of small, self-contained, shielded imaging systems available on the market that are well suited for bioarcheological applications.

The peak kilovoltage, or kVp, can be manually set by the radiographer (Bushong 2004). The x-ray tube is usually encased in an oil bath and lead housing. It is essentially a vacuum with two principle components: the cathode and the anode. The former consists of a coil of tungsten wire, much like the filament of a household light bulb, surrounded by a focusing cup. Most x-ray tube cathodes actually have two separate filaments, each with an associated focusing cup. When the x-ray system is initiated, a current is passed through the tungsten filament.

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