Digitizing Tupi-Guarani Motifs on Ceramics from the Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Work with the 3D scans that we collected in Brazil continues, as we move forward with digitizing the decorative motifs used by the Tupi-Guarani. Unlike the Aratu, the Tupi-Guarani regularly employed paints and pigments to decorate ceramics.

Using the 3D mesh sketch function in Geomagic Design X, we have begun to trace each of the design elements on one of the Tupi-Guarani vessels from the Calderon Collection (below). The 3D mesh sketches can be viewed, rotated, measured, etc. independent of the vessel itself, while not reducing any of the design elements to 2D approximations.

Calderon II-045.0 

The 3D scan of this vessel was also sliced, allowing us to collect metrics associated with maximum rim width, width below rim, and thickness measurements for the rim, body, and base of this vessel.

Calderon II-045.0

Our work with this important (virtual) ceramic assemblage continues, and includes a recent elliptic Fourier analysis (EFA) of 2D vessel outlines–using screenshots like those above, and an analysis of 3D morphometrics that begins later this week.

We extend our gratitude to the Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia and the Universidade Federal da Bahia for their continued support of this project. 


Written by zselden

Selden (PhD, Texas A&M University, 2013) is a husband, father, 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.