robert z selden jr, computer aided inspection, human mandible, sudan, ct scan, 3d scan, 3d model, 3d surface model, nurbs, deviation, geomagic design x, geomagic control x, sudan, university of colorado boulder, heritage, culture, geometric morphometrics

Advanced 3D Imaging and Morphometrics for Archaeologists

I will be teaching a section of the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training’s Advanced 3D Imaging and Morphometrics for Archaeologists workshop from October 15 – 18, 2018 in the Conservation Laboratory at the Arizona State Museum, on the campus of the University of Arizona.

Other instructors include Bernard K. Means, Loren Davis, and Michael Shott who will be discussing public archaeology and outreach, 3D projectile point analysis, and theory and methods, respectively.

robert z selden jr, archaeology, archeology, geometric morphometric, ceramic, analysis, mathematics, statistics, 3d, 3d scan

The objective of this workshop is to share and discuss the latest uses of 3D imaging of archaeological artifacts in order to improve the utility and precision of analyses that employ 3D data to assess morphological variation. Additional discussions will cover topics related to digital curation and public archaeology, where the utility of 3D scans reach beyond traditional analyses. To accomplish this, we are bringing together selected experts to one location to share their expertise. This four-day event will include lectures, a hands-on practicum, data analysis demonstrations, and discussions of best practices and data curation.

robert z selden jr, caddo, archaeology, ceramic, pot, pottery, geometric morphometrics, shape, size, form, allometry, asymmetry, geomagic design x, culture, heritage, history, museum studies

Find more information, and to register to attend the workshop, click here or follow this link –


Geometric Morphometrics of Caddo bottles in the Clarence H. Webb Collection

Analyses of ceramic vessel shape are neither new or novel; however, the relatively recent adoption of geometric morphometric (GM) methods by archaeologists provides a preview of the contribution of GM to the systematic and rigorous study of morphology as applied to material culture. This study is focused upon an analysis of Caddo bottle shapes for Belcher Engraved, Hickory Fine Engraved, Keno Trailed, Smithport Plain, and Taylor Engraved vessels from the Allen Plantation, Belcher Mound, Gahagan Mound, and Smithport Landing sites in the Clarence H. Webb collections from northwest Louisiana. Results indicate some significant relationships between bottle shape and size (allometry), bottle shape and type, and bottle shape and site. A test of morphological integration indicates that the bottles are significantly integrated, meaning that those discrete traits used to characterise their shape (rim, neck, body, and base) vary in a coordinated manner, highlighting significant integration between suites of attributes. The Smithport Plain and Hickory (Fine) Engraved bottles found at the Belcher Mound, Smithport Landing, and Gahagan Mound sites also provide evidence for two discrete (north–south) base and body shapes.

Access the article here, or by clicking on the image of the first page below.

Ceramic morphological organisation in the Southern Caddo Area: T


Preprint of New BTAS Article Available on SocArXiv

The preprint of my forthcoming BTAS article that explores morphological variation for a sample of Smithport Plain Caddo bottles is now available for download on SocArXiv. The follow-up to this piece integrates Caddo bottles from the Bison B site in northwest Louisiana curated at Southern Methodist University. This analysis is an iterative extension of my ongoing work with Caddo ceramic morphology, to which new collections are regularly added. Each iterative improvement includes an analysis of the recently scanned ceramics, then presents the results of a subsequent analysis of the aggregated sample.


A Preliminary Study of Smithport Plain Bottle Morphology in the


Many thanks to the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, the Williamson Museum at Northwestern State University, the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum, the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, and the Louisiana State University (LSU) Museum of Natural Science for the requisite permissions and access needed to generate the 3D scans of the Caddo bottles used in this analysis. Development of the analytical workflow and production of 3D scans from the Clarence H. Webb collection was funded by a grant (P14AP00138) from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. Production of 3D scans for repatriated Caddo bottles from the Crenshaw Mound and the Pohler Collection was funded by a grant from the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma.


Archaeology Maxent ENMeval predictive model site potential model

Call for Volunteers–Test of an Archaeological Site Potential Model

The National Forests and Grasslands in Texas and the Center for Regional Heritage Research would like to invite you to participate in a large public archaeology/outreach opportunity from February 18 – March 3, 2018 (two one-week sessions) to test and evaluate an archaeological site potential model for the Davy Crockett National Forest ( This is a national call for volunteers, and is limited to 40 participants; however, we wanted to open the opportunity to locally-interested colleagues and students in advance of the formal announcement (no prior experience required). Registration is required by January 1, 2018 for all participants through the USFS Passport in Time website. Register by visiting the link above and filling out the short application using the Apply Now tab immediately below the image of the dart points.

Additional information included in the link above.



robert z selden jr, archaeology, archeology, geometric morphometric, ceramic, analysis, mathematics, statistics, 3d, 3d scan

New Publication in  DAACH

While pursuing a study of 3D geometric morphometrics for ceramic burial vessels that often articulate with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) from the ancestral Caddo region, there have been no shortage of potentially meaningful observations, one of which–rotational asymmetry in coil-built vessels–is discussed in this publication. Using Geomagic Design X (reverse-engineering software) and Geomagic Control X (computer aided inspection software), metrics associated with rotational asymmetry were generated then analyzed.

Vessels can be sectioned, where the deviations for a specific spline can be extracted for a more in-depth analysis.

Results indicate variable asymmetry among the different vessel shapes (i.e., bottles, jars, etc.), which may augment and strengthen studies and discussions of vessel form. Future directions include the incorporation of directional and–possibly–fluctuating asymmetry measures for the widest vessel profiles. Preliminary results point toward substantive analytical gains that can be used to augment more traditional ceramic analyses as well as geometric morphometric studies of ceramic vessel shape.

Results of the asymmetry analysis.

In addition to the analysis of rotational asymmetry, there is a brief discussion for analyses of (directional and fluctuating) asymmetry using geometric morphometrics. While the bulk of that discussion remains the topic of another paper, the citation network for asymmetry studies that use geometric morphometrics was included in this paper, and can be accessed by clicking on the image or the link below.

Directed bipartite citation network for studies of asymmetry using geometric morphometrics. Access the network here.

Link to the publication here, and view the 3D models of the Caddo vessels from the Washington Square Mound site here.  Links to the digital repository where you can download these data are included in the publication.

Many thanks to the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma for the requisite permissions needed to scan the vessels, and to the Anthropology and Archaeology Laboratory for access.