3D Scanning at Eastern New Mexico University

I was recently afforded the opportunity to work with Katy Putsavage to scan the bulk of the intact or reconstructed ceramics from Miles Collection at Eastern New Mexico University. While our focus remains centered upon the geometric morphometric and asymmetry analyses of the Playas Red Wares (Casas Grandes) from this collection, we took advantage of every extra minute to scan additional artifacts. One of these, an Escondido Polychrome var Salado vessel, can be viewed and manipulated below.

 

Among the other interesting scan data we collected was a mastadon molar. While this particular molar comes from China, the 3D scan data will be used as a comparative sample in Anthropology classes, allowing students to interact with and explore the various differences between mastadon and mammoth molars (we also scanned a mammoth molar and a second mastadon molar, both of which are being processed).

 

In addition to these scans, a number of 3D scans were created for graduate students, including two Agate Basin projectile points, and one (what appears to be) cut bone. As I mentioned in the previous post, I also had the opportunity to scan several of the lithic artifacts from the Blackwater Draw National Historic Site, which will be released on their blog over the coming months.

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During my trips to repositories and museums to scan artifacts, I usually end up scanning a few things at each location that are new and different for me. Sometimes it’s a family heirloom, an odd artifact, or a person; other times it’s just something out of the blue. One of my favorite scans from my trip to Eastern New Mexico University (#ENMU) is a Bison antiquus skull. I am not sure why this particular artifact resonated with me like it did (perhaps because I am so used to scanning the projectile points, tools and [later] ceramics used to harvest, process and cook meals like these?), as I tried to imagine the family that it fed and the landscapes that it (and those families) were once witness to. In any case, I enjoyed the opportunity to scan this piece, and look forward to sharing the final scan with you.

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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.