As many of you know, we have begun the task of scanning the Turner Collection in 3D. These vessels–and their lists of attributes–are slowly being added to the digital repository, but I want to take a moment to discuss what it is that you’re looking at when viewing the vessels in CRHR:ARCHAEOLOGY <–click on underlined terms to follow the links.


After entering the Caddo Vessel Documentation area, and selecting a vessel, you arrive at a screen similar to what is seen above. In the main area of the page, you will see the default image of the vessel (usually a 2D photo). On the right side of the page under Thumbnails, you’ll see a list of images and files. The image that appears here as a white box is a downloadable 3D .pdf. The other images that say Item are the raw data from the scans (also downloadable).

If you’re interested in using the raw data, you can import it into programs like Meshlab (freeware), which provide a wide range of tools to view and manipulate the 3D scan data.

If you wish to cite an item (or collection) on CRHR:ARCHAEOLOGY, there is a tab on the top left that says Reference URL. Click it, and you will be given several choices of stable URLs to use – these web addresses will not change.

If you scroll down below the images, you’ll see the Object Description, which provides a wide range of attributes for that vessel.


To me, this is the heart of “the good stuff,” and I wanted to find a way to make it easy for us to link vessels with similar attributes. To do that, we made all of the attributes searchable. While this is still being refined–I want to include an option to search for specific ranges in the metric categories–you can now click on the purple terms (for instance, you could click on the term direct under the category of Rim Form), and it will bring up all of the ceramic vessels in the database that have direct rims. The same goes for every entry in the Object Description field, including Vessel Type (you see where we’re going with this, right?).

Beneath the Object Description are a few other fields that may be of interest to some of you, including a Comments section where anyone can post a comment on any of the entries in CRHR:ARCHAEOLOGY.


Turner Collection, O NAGPRA 2012.1.255
Vessel image appears courtesy of the Anthropology and Archaeology Laboratory
Animation courtesy of the Virtual Curation Laboratory

While we have plenty of work left to do, we’re making some good headway, and it’s my goal to have CRHR:ARCHAEOLOGY Version 1.0 up and running soon. That said, I am indebted to all of you for your helpful comments, guidance, and constructive criticisms along the way – thank you for the emails. We will–very soon–have a fully-functional digital repository that’s capable of sharing (with a global audience) some of the rich and fascinating archaeological datasets that make Texas archaeology such a fun area of research. Thanks again for all of the support.


Written by zselden

Selden (PhD, Texas A&M University, 2013) is a US Marine Corps veteran, cyclist, kayaker, backpacker, hiker, climber, fisherman and general all-around outdoor enthusiast. His research is focused at the confluence of archaeological methods and digital technology, and he is particularly interested in the application of 3D technologies to archaeological problems, geometric morphometrics, network analyses, predictive modeling, archaeological theory, and archaeological science.


  1. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long
    as I provide credit and sources back to your website? My blog
    site is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my users would
    really benefit from some of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this okay with you. Appreciate it!


    1. Is not a problem at all. You can also reblog each of the posts that you’re interested in (assuming your blog is in WordPress) – click on the title of the post, then a Reblog button will appear at the top of the screen in the black bar. Additionally, you can post the web address to your blog as a comment – happy to help in any way that I can.


Comments are closed.