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29 April 2013
Science

The processes of domestication of ancient animals using 3D-scanners are studying at ISTU

Professor at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada), Robert Lozey, research the domestication processes of ancient animals in the laboratory "Archaeology, and paleoecology of life of the peoples of North Asia", NI ISTU. The work is carried out in the framework of a joint grant «Arctic domus».

Canadian zooarheologist says that his primary goal is to understand how the domestication of various northern animals, namely deer and dogs was.

"I take pictures of bones of different animals – modern and those which have lived on the earth for more than 8 thousand years ago - with the help of high-precision Breuckmann smartSCAN3D-HE. Dogs were the first domesticated animals, deer come in a person's life much later, but were also unchanged assistants and they were used as horse-drawn carts. Until now, it is very difficult to determine by the bones whether the reindeer were domesticated or not. Our task is to understand how transportation of goods, wearing of sleds influenced on the skeleton of the animal in the process of evolution, " says R. Lozey.

According to the Canadian professor a bone should be scanned from 20 to 100 times to see a clear image of an object.

"All things have the so-called "dead zones"- places where the rays of scanner pass badly. That is why some bones of complex structures (for example: bones of the skull) have to be scanned up to 100 times to get good pictures. Although it is a lengthy process, it is much easier to work with these materials later. We do not have to go through a complicated procedure of registration of documents for the export of artifacts abroad, it is simply enough to send 3D - model by mail ", emphasizes R. Lozey.

The joint work of archaeologists from Irkutsk with Canadian colleagues is a part of the grant "Arctic domestication". Within five years, the researchers plan to conduct a series of laboratory studies, and organize expeditions to the north of the lake Baikal (Republic of Buryatia), South Yakutia (Olekminskiy area) and in the mountain Tofalaria (Nizhneudinsk district, Irkutsk region).

"For the time that I have been working together with scientists from Irkutsk Technical University, it is possible to note a sharp rise in the equipment of the archaeological laboratory. The equipment is as good as my lab in Canada. Irkutsk State Technical University is the only place in the eastern part of Russia, where I can carry out the surveys, especially because there is the wonderful archaeological basis there. "

Head of the laboratory "Archaeology, paleoecology and systems of life of the peoples of North Asia" at ISTU, Arthur Harinskiy, takes active part in the work on the grant «Arctic domus».

"In summer we are planning to go on an expedition to Olekminsky area, where we will study the life of the local people, their relationships with animals. It is also scheduled to take DNA sampling, bone and spore-pollen material. All the collected samples will be tested in our laboratory with modern equipment. It can be said that the research area of ISTU is fully equipped with the latest technology. The University acquired equipment, the cost of which is 10 million rubles. In addition, several pieces of equipment were presented by our Canadian colleagues. Now we have some cutting-edge scanning systems capable to create 3 D-models. Ultra-precise microscopes and chemical analyzers will help us to discover the inner world of each artifact. Due to such equipment, our laboratory is able to perform the most complex investigation. "

Anastasiya Slepneva


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