Master of Arts
Greene, Elizabeth M.
This thesis research introduces a novel 3D structured light scanning and digital, post-processing enhancement methodology influenced by digital approaches used in anthropological archaeology, ichnology, and forensic podiatry to the analysis of Roman leather insoles from Vindolanda. The primary objective was to capture 2D and 3D footprint impression evidence on the surface of 81 insoles for enhanced visualization and analysis in order to refine the quality of podiatric data that can be extracted from Roman footwear. I conducted three case studies (pointed toe, sandal, and children’s insoles) based on a set of distinct, but related research questions concerning the refinement of our understanding of local demographic variables (sex, age, and health) and Roman footwear practices. The successful visualization of footprint impressions in this research represents the most accurate Roman podiatric data to date, providing unprecedented insight into the research questions that have been difficult to answer using traditional analyses.
Summary for Lay Audience
This thesis research introduces a new 3D imaging and digital visualization methodology to the podiatric analysis of Roman leather footwear from Vindolanda, a Roman imperial military fort and settlement just south of Hadrian’s wall in Northern England, occupied from the 1st to 6th centuries AD. The methodology was influenced by digital approaches used recently in anthropological archaeology, ichnology, (the study of fossilized tracks made by animals or humans), and forensic podiatry, (the forensic analysis of footwear impression evidence). The methodology employed uses 3D structured light scanning (SLS), a powerful non-contact 3D scanning technology that measures the entire geometry of an object using a series of projected light patterns and cameras. The 3D models were then digitally enhanced using various tools available in the processing software MeshLab. The primary objective was to capture footprint impressions on the surface of 81 leather insoles for enhanced visualization and analysis to refine the quality of podiatric data extracted from the footwear. I conducted three case studies on three different categories of shoes (pointed toe, sandal, and children’s insoles) based on a set of research questions concerning the refinement of our understanding of local demographic variables (sex, age, and health) and Roman footwear practices. The methodology was successful at visualizing footprint impressions on a significant number of insoles in the dataset and represents the most accurate Roman podiatric data to date. The results of the research provide unprecedented insight into key questions surrounding the populations living in the Roman imperial military community of Vindolanda and the trends in their footwear fashions and practices, which have been difficult to answer using traditional analytical techniques.
Glanfield, Maria Lorene, "Applying 3D Structured Light Scanning to Roman Leather Insoles From Vindolanda: A Novel Approach to Podiatric Data Collection" (2023). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 9550.