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. 


archaeology, caddo, wilder engraved, bottle, 16sa37, louisiana, robert z selden jr, culture, heritage

Caddo Bottle from 16Sa37 in Northwest Louisiana

This Caddo bottle comes from 16Sa37 in Northwest Louisiana, is curated at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory in Austin, Texas, and was scanned with a GoSCAN20. This vessel will be integrated into our study of Caddo vessel morphology, and these data will be made available through a data paper. Additionally, these scans will eventually be included in the Texas Archeological Society Newsletter, as we received generous funding from the Texas Archeological Society to create the scans.

In addition to those attributes associated with vessel shape, form, allometry and asymmetry, the standard suite of Caddo vessel attributes (sensu Perttula) will be included as we continue our effort to synthesize and examine macro-level trends in the Southern Caddo Area.


New publications in the Journal of Texas Archeology and History

The first two peer-reviewed data papers have just been published in the Journal of Texas Archeology and History, detailing the hardware, software and methods used to generate these two important datasets. This helps to keep the data collection process transparent, and ensures that we are following best practices in terms of data collection, processing and digital curation. These data papers are open access; simply click on the image of the cover page to be transferred to each.

Many thanks to the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, Texas Archeological Research Laboratory and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for the requisite permissions and access needed to generate the scans.




3D Effigy Vessel from the Belcher Mound Site in NW Louisiana

Earlier this year, I spent some time at Northwestern State University in Northwest Louisiana to scan a collection of Caddo vessels from the Belcher and Gahagan sites. Many of these were illustrated and described by Dr. Clarence Webb; including this effigy vessel from the Belcher site.


Dr. Webb’s  illustration (above) and description of this vessel:

Pottery vessel 3 of Burial 15, Belcher Mound, is a bird effigy vessel found with above 2 in NE corner. It is a small bowl of clay tempered ware, black core, and brown-black surface which is polished, with white pigment impressed into the engraved lines. The head is represented by a conical knob projecting at rim level, encircled by 5 parallel lines. The opposite tail is flat, at rim level, bifurcate or half-disc in shape, with 3 parallel arcs on the upper surface. Small flat tabs project from each side to represent wings, each also having 3 parallel arcs on upper flat surface, from base to tip. 3 parallel horizontal lines encircle the body of the bowl, just below the rim, except where they are interrupted by the projections. Convex base.

Many thanks to the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, NCPTT, Dr. Pete Gregory (NSU) and the Williamson Museum for the requisite permissions, funding and access needed to scan these important Caddo vessels.