CHI Fellows Intro: Andrew LoPinto
Hello there, internet! I am Andrew. I am a PhD student here at Michigan State University in the Department of Anthropology as well as a research assistant for the Campus Archaeology Program. My background is in archaeology, and specifically, bioarchaeology and mortuary analysis. Yes, I work with the dead. Macabre? Perhaps. Interesting? DEFINITELY! Bioarchaeology can clue us in to so much about the actual lives of the people of ancient civilizations and gives modern researchers an amazing opportunity to interact with long extinct populations. Specifically, my research focuses on Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt. Yes, I study the dead…in Egypt. You may now proceed to writhe in envy. Just kidding.
Prior to coming to MSU, I received an MSc in Skeletal and Dental Bioarchaeology from the Institute of Archaeology at University College London and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. I have worked in Egypt at various sites of various time periods for a number of years. I have had the opportunity to work at both Nile valley and delta sites, and one of the most prominent issues when working in Egypt is preservation and long-term care of artifacts (both archaeological and osteological). This dovetails into my interests in Cultural Heritage Informatics.
As a CHI Fellow, I am interested in testing the efficacy and applicability of methods of 3D modeling for long-term data storage for both archaeological and bioarchaeological remains. All artifacts (especially organic material like bones) have a finite lifespan and naturally degrade over time. Through the use of 3D modelling, these materials can be preserved indefinitely in digital form and the information obtained can be easily shared with researchers the world over. With an eye to future studies and teaching, these modeled collections could potentially be reproduced via 3D printing any number of times for use as teaching aides and for research purposes.
And there you have it! More details to follow on the nature of my inquiry over the coming months!