Beings from the Third Dimension: Imaging Weeden Island Effigies

Author(s): Mark Donop

Year: 2015


The use of 3-D imaging enhances the ability of archaeologists to record and analyze artifacts for both public and academic purposes. This study used 3-D imaging to scan a sample of ceramic artifacts collected by Decatur Pittman in the 1880s from the Palmetto Mound (8LV2) mortuary facility on the Florida Gulf Coast housed at the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH). This collection consists primarily of Woodland Period (AD 200-1000) Weeden Island ceramics that include large portions of eccentric and elaborately decorated sherds and vessels with zoomorphic and anthropomorphic effigies. Over 400 vessels have been analyzed using standard methods that include caliper measurements, hand-drawn profiles, photography, and brief descriptions of decorative motifs. The 3-D scanner at the FLMNH was used to create digital images from a sample of 10 modeled effigies and 20 incised and punctated effigy vessels in an effort to assess the advantages of 3-D imaging before destructive analyses were employed. The study provides a digital record that can be readily accessed and an additional tool to more accurately study artifacts, in this case ceramic effigies.

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Cite this Record

Beings from the Third Dimension: Imaging Weeden Island Effigies. Mark Donop. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397936)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;