Best Presentation Award for Francien Bossema at AmeriDendro — CWI Amsterdam

Francien Bossema from the CWI Computational Imaging group received a Student Award for Best Presentation (PhD level) at AmeriDendro 2022, for his presentation “Applications and advances in X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) for dendrochronology”. The guest lecture was made for the symposium “Historical timber and wooden objects as archives: new insights into trees, ecology and people”. The work she presented is part of her doctoral research, supervised by Joost Batenburg and Erma Hermens, conducted at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica and the Rijksmuseum and supported by the Netherlands Institute for Conservation+Art+Science+ and NWO Science.

Over the past 10 years, X-ray computed tomography (CT) has been increasingly applied to dendrochronological research. This technique provides 3D images of the internal structure of objects, allowing non-invasive access to tree rings in cultural heritage objects that are often inaccessible from the outside. Here, we will present the state of the art of tomographic X-ray imaging for application to dendrochronology. We will provide a comprehensive overview of how X-ray computed tomography is used to answer dendrochronological questions of historical objects (panel paintings, sculptures, and furniture), and discuss hardware and software requirements to enable dendrochronological investigation of reconstructed images. results. In addition, we will highlight the limitations of the application of computed tomography to dendrochronological research, such as the material composition of the object, the size of the object, and the resolution of the image. These topics will be illustrated with examples of our work, including our recent breakthrough in X-ray imaging for dendrochronology of large wooden objects, which is based on linear trajectory scanning. This method exploits the shape of tree rings to visualize them with limited data, so the object only needs to move sideways as opposed to full rotation in normal CT. We will end with a discussion of future applications of X-ray imaging to wooden cultural heritage.

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