Return to the Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

The CRHR faculty and staff are making a number of trips to Brazil this year. We have already returned to Lençois and Chapada Diamantina to further explore and document the rich history of Brazil’s national parks. Now we are heading back to Salvador’s Pelourinho (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) to visit our old friends at the Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia (MAE). During our last visit, we focused our efforts on 3D scanning and documentation of the Calderon Collection. This time, we will be scanning photographs and documents instead of artifacts.


Scanning the Aratu burial vessels at the Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia. 

Valentin Calderon was among the first professional archaeologists to work in Brazil, and our attention will be focused upon the work that he conducted in the Brazilian Northeast. There are a number of unpublished manuscripts, a wealth of excavation notes, and hundreds of photographs that will be digitized during our visit. While our initial goal is to get these important documents into print (digital volumes in both English and Portuguese), our secondary goal is to use them in a test of supervised and unsupervised machine learning.


Tracing ceramic designs in three-dimensions (blue-green) on a Tupi vessel at the Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia.

We look forward to working on these new projects with the faculty and staff at the MAE, and exploring the wealth of knowledge contained in the writings and images of the Calderon Collection in the coming month.


Written by zselden

My research is focused at the confluence of archaeology, engineering, computer science, and the humanities. I am particularly interested in the application of 3D technologies to archaeological problems, geometric morphometrics, network analyses, archaeological theory, and archaeological science.