Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Jennifer Currey




head loading, suface, skull, procedure, density, bone


Head-loading is a means of transporting heavy loads accross rough, rural terrains practiced by many peoples in Third World countries. Years of practicing head-loading is said to result in increase spinal bone density and permantly grooved skulls. The most infamous people who practice head-loading are the porters of Nepal, who carry loads by means of a head sling straped across their foreheads, and South African women, who carry loads directly on their heads. To simulate and measure the instantaneous micro deformations occurring on the surface of the skull due to head-loading, a test procedure has been developed using a plastic human skull model. The effect of applying an axial load to the skull is examined using a non-contact strain deformation measuring technique known as speckle image photogrammetry. This technique uses two high resolution cameras to monitor the three dimensional deformations occurring on the outer surface of a relatively large portion of the skull. ARAMIS optical deformation software (GOM Optical Measuring Techniques) has been used to compute the strain field gradients on the surface of the model plastic skull while loaded, suggesting a similar test procedure and speckling technique can be used on a masecrated human skull.