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Individual cartridge case identification is an essential component of historic battlefield archeology. With individual cartridge case identification archeologists are able to track the movement of the combatants as they move across the battlefield, giving a highly detailed view of the past. While useful, current methods of individual cartridge case identification require expensive equipment and extensive training and time to conduct. In this thesis two alternative methods of cartridge case identification are evaluated in order to determine if recent developments in the areas of 3D scanning and statistical analysis can be utilized to develop new methods of individual cartridge case method. The first method tested is the evaluation of three 3D scanners, which have the potential to replace the expensive microscopes currently required for cartridge case identification. The second method tested uses a digital caliper to obtain four different measurements from a cartridge case with the hypothesis that fired cartridge cases have different measurements than unfired cartridge cases. These differences can then be used for individual cartridge case identification. While both these methods show definite potential, they both require further experimentation and study before archeologists can effectively utilize them.
Adviser: Douglas Scott