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Proceedings Paper

Computer-assisted system for the reconstruction of shattered objects
Author(s): Frederick A. Cooper; Todd Brenningmeyer
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Paper Abstract

Reconstruction for forensic purposes of shattered or otherwise damaged objects has been a painstaking, if not impossible, undertaking. The forensic crime scientist and the archaeologist share this challenge. A pilot project, funded by the National Institute of Justice experimented with several avenues of approach to this problem of reassembly by using the 627 fragmented pieces of a pane of glass from a crime scene. I was approached by staff members of the Forensic Laboratory of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension because I was developing a means to restore a Greek Bronze Age wall painting (ca. 1350 B.C.E.) fragmented into 4750 pieces and a Greek temple (ca. 150 B.C.E.) demolished by vandals about 1500 years ago, leaving behind 1485 stone blocks, 1-3 tons each. The challenge was to develop an automated method to rapidly and effectively analyze a quantity of fragments of like kind separated one from the other and from the original object by violence and other means. The project established a set of mathematically and graphically definable characteristics held by the glass sherds which allowed for the making of joins between pieces. Preparation included the formulation of inventory check-sheets and a barcode label system with a unique identifier for each piece based on a x,y,z grid system. The next step involved experimentation with an array of proprietary GIS, SQL, and CAD software alternatives for the processing of data. In the end we settled on maximum likelihood analysis of SQL filtered results. This and shape indices were complied using ArcView and the scripting language, Avenue, products of ESRI, Redlands, California.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 May 2005
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 5778, Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense IV, (20 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.604217
Show Author Affiliations
Frederick A. Cooper, Univ. of Minnesota (United States)
Todd Brenningmeyer, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5778:
Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense IV
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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