Digital repository

The outcome of the Bakeng se Afrika project is the establishment of a digital repository of skeletal images available for use in research and teaching. The University of Pretoria has acquired both the main storage server and buffer server and is in the process of setting up the hardware for the Bakeng se Afrika database. Though the digital repository will be available for use for researchers both nationally and internationally, the project functions under strict ethical guidelines and research projects will require ethical approval from institutional committees before being granted access to the repository. 


The Bakeng se Afrika repository is based on skeletal material curated in three South African osteological collections:

  • The Pretoria Bone Collection, housed in the Department of Anatomy of the University of Pretoria. More information on the collection (L'Abbé et al. 2005, L'Abbé et al. 2021) and contact details here.
  • The Human Bone Collection, housed in the Department of Anatomy and Histology of the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University.
  • The Kirsten Skeletal Collection, housed in the Division of Anatomy and Histology of the Stellenbosch University. More information on the collection (Alblas et al. 2018) and contact details here.


Scans that will be available on the repository originate from:

  • Research and scanning of material from these three skeletal collections prior to Bakeng se Afrika;
  • Research and scanning conducted during Bakeng se Afrika;
  • Specifically scanned skeletal material during and after Bakeng se Afrika.


Current repository status

As of September 2021, approximately 3400 micro-XCT scans have been collected and/or performer (all included). In more details:

  • 477 crania;

  • 447 mandibles;

  • 298 maxillae close-up;

  • 88 scans of mandibular and maxillary teeth;

  • 172 radii (2 scans per bone: 344 scans);

  • 144 entire femora (3 scans per bone: 432 scans), 90 scans of proximal or distal femora;

  • 50 ilium;

  • 27 patella;

  • 27 scans of hand/foot;

  • 14 calcaneus;

  • and also some vertebrae, ribs, humerii, ulnae, pathological bones, etc;


Scans of bones presenting traumatic injuries (ballistic, blunt force, etc.) might also be available in the future, but access will be submitted to specific requirements.


Published by Clarisa van der Merwe

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2022. All rights reserved.

COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal

To contact the University during the COVID-19 lockdown, please send an email to [email protected]

Click here for frequently asked questions for first year UP students

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences