85200 - Enhancement of Anthropological Heritage Using 3D Technology

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Stefano Benazzi

  • Credits 6

  • SSD BIO/08

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Ravenna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in History, preservation and enhancement of artistic and archaeological heritage and landscape (cod. 9218)

  • Course Timetable from Mar 11, 2024 to Mar 15, 2024


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide the knowledge and technical-scientific skills necessary for 3D data acquisition and reconstruction of human skeleton and mummified remains retrieved from archaeological excavations or museums, in order to create 3D digital models useful for further specific analysis, 3D printing, enhancement and exhibition. At the end of the course, students will learn to digitally acquire human remains using 3D surface scanner and to use software for post processing surface data and segmenting/visualizing image data from (micro)-CT sources, thus obtaining 3D digital models of the bones, which are essential for their restoration, analysis and exhibition.

Course contents

Introduction to 3D scanning: technologies and working principles; contact and non-contact scanning systems, reflective and transmissive systems; how to choose the 3D acquisition tool, technical considerations and device characteristics; scan protocol. Examples of 3D scans and digital reconstructions.

Introduction to post processing surface data: Geomagic Design X software workflow, set parameters and tools, import point clouds, point clouds alignment, noise cleaning, mesh generation; import meshes, healing defects, 3D model construction, save data, save project, export data; mesh editor, creating cutting planes, sections, curves and measurements (linear, angular, area and volume) of the digital models.


Notes from the lessons

Scientific papers uploaded in the Virtuale platform


Optional (mandatory for non-attending students)

Weber GW, Bookstein FL. Virtual Anthropology - A Guide to a New Interdisciplinary Field. Springer Verlag, Wien, New York, 2011.

Teaching methods

The course is based on traditional lectures covering program topics and practical exercises for post-processing 3D data using computer software.

As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit, all students must attend Module 1, 2 [https://www.unibo.it/en/services-and-opportunities/health-and-assistance/health-and-safety/online-course-on-health-and-safety-in-study-and-internship-areas] on Health and Safety online

Assessment methods

Assessment of learning takes place through a dual evaluation process: a practical examination and an oral examination.

The practical examination will take place immediately at the end of the course and includes the following stages:

  1. Processing of data obtained through 3D scanning tools;
  2. Creation of 3D digital models, useful for subsequent analyses, 3D printing, enhancement, and 3D museum curation;
  3. Virtual reconstruction of missing parts.

The oral examination is scheduled to begin from the first available session on the calendar, immediately following the conclusion of the lectures, and is centered on the topics covered during the course.

In the oral examination, the student is required to delve into a specific course topic through the reading of a scientific article of their choice. Subsequently, their preparation will be assessed on other topics from the program through the study of a series of scientific articles uploaded specifically to the Virtual Portal.

Students must demonstrate that they have acquired a strong foundation in scientific knowledge on the topics covered and have mastered both the theoretical and practical aspects related to 3D acquisition and the creation of digital models of human remains.

The final grade will take into account the performance in the practical examination, the depth of scientific and methodological understanding of the subjects covered, the clarity of expression by the student, and their ability to conduct a critical and reasoned analysis, including any relevant interdisciplinary connections.

Non-attending students: Regular attendance of lectures is strongly recommended given the nature of the course. However, students with valid reasons for not being able to attend the course must study the "optional" book (Weber GW, Bookstein FL. Virtual Anthropology - A Guide to a New Interdisciplinary Field. Springer Verlag, Wien, New York, 2011) and are encouraged to consult the professor during office hours for suggestions on necessary supplementary texts.

Teaching tools

Lectures will be supported by power point presentations, osteological materials, 3D surface scanner, workstations with software for post-processing, segmentation and visualization of 3D image data.

Students who are affected by learning disability (DSA) and in need of special strategies to compensate it, are kindly requested to contact the Teacher, in order to be referred to the colleagues in charge and get proper advice and instructions.

Office hours

See the website of Stefano Benazzi