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Modeling Hands: Photogrammetric Analysis of Hand Imprints in Ceramic Vessels from Copán, Honduras

Author(s): Alexis Hartford ; Sarah Loomis

Year: 2017

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In A.D. 756, Ruler 15 of Copán, Honduras—a Classic Maya settlement—erected Stela M in front of the Hieroglyphic Staircase as a permanent marker of a calendrical event – the Period Ending. As part of the ritual ceremony conducted at the time of the stela’s dedication, offerings were placed under the stela to activate or ensoul the monument. In a recent study of the ceramics from this offering conducted at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, the authors discovered handprints impressed into the interior bases of two coarseware ceramic vessels. To further explore these impressions and their implications, the authors utilized photogrammetry to create three-dimensional computer models of these ceramics’ interiors, allowing for greater analysis of their shape, size, depth, and detail. Through a more holistic analysis of these impressions, the authors hope to gain an understanding of the production setting, including the individuals involved in the production of these ritual objects.

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Modeling Hands: Photogrammetric Analysis of Hand Imprints in Ceramic Vessels from Copán, Honduras. Alexis Hartford, Sarah Loomis. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429343)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17093

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America