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VCU Archaeology

Dispatch from The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Day 2

by Bernard K. Means, Project Director

This morning, December 17, 2013, Ashley McCuistion, Mariana Zechini, and I traveled through the snowy streets of Harrisburg to The State Museum of Pennsylvania (TSMP) for a full day of scanning.  With the help of Janet Johnson, TSMP Curator of Archaeology, we went over to the archaeology gallery in the State Museum Building to scan petroglyphs that had been removed from the Safe Harbor site located in the center of the Susquehanna River.  The museum itself is closed on Tuesdays, so we did not have to worry about interfering with public enjoyment of the exhibits.

Riding the freight elevator up to the archaeology exhibit gallery.

Riding the freight elevator up to the archaeology exhibit gallery.

We used the Sense 3D scanner to scan the petroglyphs on exhibit, with a tripod and lights loaned from The State Museum.

Ashley scanning petroglyphs.

Ashley scanning petroglyphs.

With some experimentation, we were able to successfully scan all of the petroglyph panels that are on display.

Mariana scanning petroglyphs.

Mariana scanning petroglyphs.

After we finished with the petroglyphs, the three of us went over to the re-creation of a rock shelter excavation site, with the idea of seeing how well we could use the Sense 3D scanner on features–even if they are simulated.

Ashley and Mariana scanning features at the rockshelter recreation.

Ashley and Mariana scanning features at the rockshelter recreation.

We scanned a dog burial, hearth, and part of a stratigraphic profile.

Scanning a dog burial recreation.

Scanning a dog burial recreation.

We tried in the afternoon to scan a vessel using the Sense 3D scanner, but were unsuccessful in our tries of two large vessels.

Ashley and Mariana work to scan a vessel with the Sense 3D scanner. The vessel is on a Lazy Susan.

Ashley and Mariana work to scan a vessel with the Sense 3D scanner. The vessel is on a Lazy Susan.

Our efforts included placing the Sense 3D scanner on a Lazy Susan, and turning it before the Sense 3D scanner, and also moving the scanner around the vessel, but none of our attempts worked.  Ashley speculated that perhaps the symmetry of the vessel was problematic for the Sense 3D scanner. We did use the Lazy Susan to scan the large vessel using the NextEngine Desktop 3D scanner, following our scanning of some worked bone from the Martin Village site.

Scanning a worked bone artifact from the Martin site.

Scanning a worked bone artifact from the Martin site.

Scanning a vessel with the NextEngine Desktop 3D scanner.

Scanning a vessel with the NextEngine Desktop 3D scanner.

It was a good, successful day, especially thanks to the help of Janet Johnson.

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