Turtle effigy bottle from Glenn A. Black Laboratory collection in 3D.
A collaboration between Anna VanderJagt of the CyberDH group and Jennifer St.Germain from the Glenn A. Black Laboratory at Indiana University has resulted in the digitizing and modeling valuable and rare artifacts – Mississippian ceramic effigy vessels from the collection of the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology. Effigy vessels are one of the hallmarks of the pre-Columbian Mississippian era (~800CE – 1600CE). Humans, mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and even mythological creatures were modeled in a variety of styles and vessel forms. Styles range from including one or more adornments that suggest certain features, such as a head and tail attached to opposite sides of a bowl rim, to entire bottles and bowls formed into the shape of a head or body. Because these vessels often contain asymmetrical features, they can be best appreciated and studied by viewing them from all angles and sides.
Jennifer St.Germain using static-object photogrammetry method on a human head effigy vessel from Glenn A. Black Laboratory collection.
The creation of digital 3D models allows the public to dynamically view and engage with these artifacts in ways not otherwise possible when presented either in exhibit cases or in static 2D photographs. Researchers can also measure, analyze, and reconstruct these models in new and innovative ways. According to the team, “This project allowed us to get practical experience in the latest technologies in 3D modeling and gave us an opportunity to speak to many professionals in the IU community currently using these methods. We learned that every project has its specific goals and set of requirements, resulting in a wide variety of opinions on the best tools and technologies to use. In the end, we were able to provide the Glenn Black Lab with a set of resources and recommendations for selecting among these methods and successfully creating 3D models for research and exhibition." More details about this project including the methods and tools for creating and processing 3D models can be found here.