Preserving ancient human footprints through technology

Published on May 6th, 2013 | by Sevaan Franks

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pone.0060755-Geocon-Bennett-et-al-Figure-6

pone.0060755-Geocon-Bennett-et-al-Figure-6

Archaeologists are developing new techniques to preserve the footprints of our ancestors.

The authors explored two methods in this study: digital photogrammetry, where researchers strategically photograph an object in order to derive measurements; and optical laser scanning, where light is used to measure the object’s physical properties. To begin, the authors filled trays with mixtures of sand, cement, and plaster and instructed a participant to walk through these samples. Four wooden 1 cm cubes were then placed beside a select number of footprints and photographs were taken. A laser scanner was then used to measure the same footprints. This simple procedure was also replicated outside of the lab, at a beach in North West England.

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Story: Souri Somphanith, PLOS | Photo: PLOS

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