N. Applbaum 1 / Y. H. Applbaum 2
(1 Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem Israel / 2 Institute of Radiology, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel)

In our paper we will demonstrate how we have successfully used, readily available standard Medical X-Ray Computed Tomography (CT) in scanning clay and ceramic artifacts. Till now, we have used CT in our studies of ceramic technology, conservation and restoration. Other researches have used CT in the study of other artifacts of other material. Considering the threat that the political situation poses to the preservation and protection of priceless artifacts, however, we wish to suggest that CT scanning be used as the primary tool in identifying and cataloguing our world cultural heritage. There is no need to invest huge sums of money in purchasing and developing expensive testing equipment. Medical CT equipment is almost universally available. There is no need to ship artifacts to distant laboratories, an expensive and risky business at best. They can be scanned locally. The process takes little time, is non-invasive and non-destructive, producing digital data. As we will demonstrate, this data is unique and can serve us as a foolproof “fingerprint” of the artifact. By adding external photos, 3D laser scanning and other digital data, we can develop a viable tool in the war against forgeries and in the reclaiming of looted or stolen artifacts. Furthermore, as we have shown in our studies, this data can also be used as a tool in the restoration and conservation of damaged artifacts. For CT to realize its full potential, however, the data would have to be made available to all who are professionally involved in the protection and restoration of these priceless artifacts. To implement this, we propose using a PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication Systems). These systems are widely used to safely store and disseminate medical images. The advantages of a PACS based system will be demonstrated and discussed.
keywords: medical X-ray computed tomography (CT), PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication Systems), ceramics, heritage artefacts