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VCU Archaeology

VCU Archaeology 3D @ SHA 2012

By Bernard K. Means, project director

Demonstrating digital models to Sara Rivers Cofield of the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory.

Digital curator Clinton King and I journeyed separately to Baltimore, Maryland, to present our findings on the VCU archaeology 3D scanning project at the Society for Historical Archaeology annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.  On January 5, I presented a paper co-written with Clinton and with John Haynes, VCU alumnus and an integral part of our obtaining Department of Defense Legacy Funding for this project.  The paper was well received, and throughout the conference Clinton or I talked with representatives of several research institutions interested in our work, including: Lisa E. Fischer, Director of the Digital History Center at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation who is working on the Virtual Williamsburg initiative; Karen K. Shriver, Curator of the Flowerdew Hundred Collection at the University of Virginia Library; William Kelso of Jamestown Rediscovery; Benjamin Pykles, Curator of Historic Sites for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; Robert Maslowski of Marshall University in West Virginia; and Rebecca Morehouse and Sara Rivers Cofield of the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory.  We also got to speak about the project with Cecilia Brothers who is the representative for the DoD’s Legacy Program.

Cliunton discusses the promises and limitations of 3D scanning

Clinton and I also set up the 3D scanner for a demonstration in the Biblio-Tech room all day Friday, January 6 (by me helping set up, I mean I took pictures while Clinton set up the scanner; I did set up the interactive laptop).  Clinton and I gave demonstrations to interested participants throughout the day, with Clinton taking the lead—especially when I was off to the Contact period session I had co-organized with Michael Barber, Virginia’s state archaeologist.

Our 3D scanning project also got a nice mention by Amanda Vtipil of the Fort Lee Regional Archaeological Collections Facility in her paper in the Collections session.  She noted one of the major issues with their collections—and collections in general—is access.  Our project was discussed as one way to make collections more accessible to a wider audience.  We appreciate the shout out from Amanda!

Stay tuned for more news from the VCU 3D artifact scanning project later this week.  We are heading to Colonial Williamsburg Foundation to consult and work with archaeological conservator Emily Williams on Wednesday, January 11.

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