Paulo Lussu, Julian Richards and Ray Moore in front of the ADS offices.
Dr Paulo Lussu, Prof Julian Richards and Dr Ray Moore in front of the ADS offices saying farewell before Paolo’s departure due to lockdown.

Hi everyone, my name is Paolo, and I have just arrived at the Archeology Data Service in York to work on the  SEADDA STSM Durable online dissemination of large 3D datasets from museological collections. I’m an INFJ-a personality type who is simply happy to enjoy, pro tempore, the very special state of the matter called life. I studied Natural sciences and I like photography, literature, history, and music, and  enjoy swimming, trekking and motorcycling.

I spend a great deal of my time thinking about man, and mature. As a PhD candidate at the Dipartimento di Scienze della vita e dell’ambiente, Università degli studi di Cagliari (Italy), working under the supervision of Prof.ssa Elisabetta Marini, I do research in Palaeoanthropology using virtual anthropology techniques. I use Ultra Close-Range Digital Photogrammetry (UCR-DP) through a cloud approach. The technique enables the easy, quick and effective 3D reconstruction ( of skeletal remains and other objects, and is particularly useful when sharing large collections.

In fact, with my supervisor we are addressing a population study in Sardinia, based on a large 3D sample of crania (~600 specimens) from Neolithic to Modern era. We are also interested in sharing our 3D models for research and dissemination purposes as open and freely accessible data (, and in developing interactive and immersive exhibitions to show the digitised specimens in our museum.

When I read about the Archaeology Data Service in York, a bell was ringing in my head and I thought: Hey! That’s where I could understand best practices for online dissemination of 3D datasets!

Apart from learning from the ADS, I hope to contribute to their work by helping improve their guidelines for 3D content, and by testing them in a case study which could form further guidance for museological collections. 

As for the latter, a large sample (100+ specimens) will be selected from the existing collection of 3D models of prehistoric and historic crania from Sardinia. During the STSM, the models will undergo post-production in order to make them suitable for online sharing, and will be published online under the most appropriate creative commons licence. We also expect to create a 360° interactive and clickable view of the collection or, alternatively, a clickable map of the specimen retrieval locations, linking the 3D models.

I believe that new ideas and solutions will arise during the STSM from the synergy between archaeologists and anthropologists, and from sharing our diverse backgrounds. We are experiencing what, biologically speaking, could be called an adaptive radiation of three-dimensional and digital data techniques in Archaeology and Anthropology – new opportunities, techniques, and protocols appear every month. However, data are seldom shared online. Even when shared, it is usually for the time being, or in repositories which are not guaranteed to last. Furthermore, 3D model specifications and metadata are very diverse. All the aforementioned factors limit data utility and duration. Therefore, I strongly believe in the utility of SEADDA COST action in making disseminated data comparable and durable, thus making an opportunity not only from their production, but also for their use. 

For further information we submitted a systematic review on the subject (Lussu P., and Marini E., Ultra close-range photogrammetry in skeletal anthropology: a systematic review) and are about to publish a validation study for UCR-DP with respect to osteometry and CT-scanning (Lussu P., Bratzu D., and Marini E., Cloud–based Ultra Close-Range Digital Photogrammetry: an unexplored and effective approach for the virtual reconstruction of skeletal remains. In prep.)