Wednesday 17 January 2024

HumanOS, a French FLOSS for archaeoanthropology

Hello everyone.

For several years, Arc-Team has been working at the ancient monastery of S. Anna di Sopramonte near Trento (Trentino, Italy). The project, initially started as an archaeological excavation, has evolved over the years into a physical anthropology summer school, as a collaboration between the University of Padua (Italy) and Appalachian State University in North Carolina (USA). Beyond the actual archaeological excavation, various activities and lessons related to archaeology take place during the summer school, covering topics from computational archaeology to archaeoanthropology and geoarchaeology. Typically, my colleagues and I at Arc-Team are involved in both the technical direction of the excavation and the training of students, especially regarding excavation techniques, 3D documentation, and project management through GIS.

I must say that during the last campaign (July 2023), I realized how old I am and how much the new generations have improved in archaeological techniques: for the first time, more than teaching students, I learned from them. Specifically, I learned about the existence of HumanOS, the topic of this post. HumanOS is a French open-source software developed for the management of human remains during an archaeological excavation. Essentially, it is a DBMS for archaeoanthropology. Personally, I have only recently started using it (usually, I manage this data directly through GIS and WebGIS), and I must say that the software seems well-designed and well-developed, especially from an anthropological perspective. Probably, from an archaeological point of view, it might need some adjustments (at least to fit correctly into the workflow here in Italy), but at the moment, it appears to be an excellent option for managing anthropological excavation data, especially in projects that have reached the study of bones.

Below, you can see an image of a tomb (number 5) from the S. Anna excavation where the preservation level of the bones is recorded (which is perhaps the best aspect of managing archaeoanthropologic analyses through this software). I hope to post more updates on HumanOS soon. In the meantime, have a nice day!
Many thanks to Nicol Rossetti, Viola Polastri, Vanessa Marras for introducing me to HumanOS

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