Prof. Johann A. Briffa and Dr Marc Tanti, from the Department of Communications & Computer Engineering, have recently visited the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, for the Workshop on Cultural and Natural Heritage at ESRF-EBS. They presented ongoing work from the Automated Segmentation of Microtomography Imaging (ASEMI) project, a partnership between the University of Malta and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, with funding from the ATTRACT project funded by the European Commission.
The work presented by Prof. Briffa and Dr Tanti involves the development of artificial intelligence algorithms to automatically segment high-resolution 3D X-rays of animal mummies. This laborious task, usually done manually over several weeks, is necessary to identify and mark the different parts of the mummy, separating the bones, soft tissue, textiles, and other components. Once the various components are labelled, it becomes possible to view the separate components in 3D, allowing archaeologists to study the mummy without damaging it. The UM contribution considerably reduces the time it takes to obtain a segmented image down to a few days, making it possible to analyse more specimens.
Considering the high level of interest in the workshop, the organisers decided to live stream this event via the ESRF YouTube channel.