First Steps and Finishing Touches: Imaging Techniques and Ancient Maya Bone Craft Production

Author(s): Sarah Newman

Year: 2017


Although archaeology focuses on the things that endure, the means by which we study those things is constantly changing. Recent technological developments have revolutionized how we assess chronology, our abilities to identify smaller and smaller traces of organic and inorganic residues, and the ways we share our data among ourselves and with the public. This presentation details a series of imaging techniques, used alone and in combination, that reveal details of ancient bone crafting methods, often at new scales or from new perspectives. I review the contributions of microscopic and macroscopic imaging, Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), and 3D modeling software (such as Agisoft PhotoScan) to understanding ancient Maya bone crafting practices. Seeing ancient things in new ways highlights not only specific production methods, but also the specialized knowledge and practiced skills required during hunting, butchery, crafting, and finishing to transform parts and pieces of animals from dietary resources to raw materials and from skeletal elements into finely crafted bone tools or ornaments.

Cite this Record

First Steps and Finishing Touches: Imaging Techniques and Ancient Maya Bone Craft Production. Sarah Newman. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431430)


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): 17048