Integrative 3D visualization for spatial analysis and interpretation of rock shelters in Quintana Roo, Mexico


The integration of multimodal and multiscalar 3D imaging and visualization techniques can be used to explore ritual and non-ritual uses of rock shelters by analyzing potentially meaningful relationships between natural and constructed features. Situating rock shelters within the greater context of Maya subsurface ritual practice may in turn help further define the Maya concept of caves. LiDAR and SFM can be integrated with traditional mapping techniques and ArcGIS to rapidly and precisely document the architectural and natural attributes of a cave. The resultant models of multiple scales and resolutions are combined to facilitate seamless and uninterrupted movement between distinct domains of the cave in its entirety and within the context of the surrounding landscape. Whereas the aforementioned techniques permit the visual and quantitative analysis of spatial relationships between features, stereo panoramic photography equips us to view different spaces within a single 3D photorealistic image and enables analysis and interpretation of visual details that point clouds and maps oftentimes fail to convey. When visualized in a 3D immersive environment, integrated digital techniques produce the most accurate and realistic recreations of the physical and experiential space and facilitate collaborative, accessible, and holistic interpretations regarding both ritual and quotidian utilization of caves.

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Cite this Record

Integrative 3D visualization for spatial analysis and interpretation of rock shelters in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Aliya Hoff, Dominique Meyer, Michael Hess, Fabio Esteban Amador, Dominique Rissolo. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395431)


Cave Maya Mexico

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;