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MPhil An evaluation of the use of Virtual Reality (VR) 3D scans for research into archaeological human populations


   Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

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  Dr Tony Payton, Dr Jenny Metcalfe  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Archaeological human remains (both skeletonised and mummified) are frequently studied using morphological and imaging techniques such as photography, 3D laser scanning and CT scanning. Such studies provide anatomical and pathological information, along with evidence of taphonomic and mortuary processes. Whilst the importance of being able to generate accurate 3D images of bones and bodies is well-established, the imaging methods used to do this are not always ideal. CT scanning often requires moving the body to the scanner and incurs significant cost and laser scanning has proven inadequate for the study of pathological bone or complex anatomical features.  

This MPhil project aims to assess whether new blue laser and blue LED hybrid technology scanning methods (EinScan H) and virtual reality (VR) can address these limitations and provide a new 3D research tool for the study of archaeological human populations. VR has the advantage of creating an immersive environment where human remains can be studied in a completely unique and more affordable way. Although this is an emerging study method in the field of medicine, it has yet to be used extensively for the study of museum artefacts and has to date not been used for the study of ancient populations.  

This project will be based between Informatics, Imaging & Data Sciences in the School of Health Sciences and Biomedical Egyptology in the School of Biological Sciences. The project will focus on a collection of ancient Egyptian and Nubian remains and a more recent pathological collection housed at the University of Manchester.  

Experience of using 3D scanning methods is not required as full training will be given. VR software development will be performed by an external company. Experience of handling human remains or museum artefacts would however be an advantage. The project is available for 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.

Entry Requirements

Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in biomedical Egyptology, archaeology, anthropology, anatomy or a suitably related area / subject. A Master's degree would be an advantage. Candidates with experience in handling human remains and/or working in a museum environment are encouraged to apply.

Applicants interested in this project should make direct contact with the Primary Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible.

How To Apply

To be considered for this Studentship you MUST submit a formal online application form - full details on how to apply can be found on https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/equality-diversity-inclusion/


Funding Notes

Studentship funding is for a duration of 1 year full-time, or 2 years part-time to commence in September 2022 and covers tuition fees and research expenses of £4,000 for the programme duration.
Funding will cover UK tuition fees only.
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