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Advances in Documentation, Digital Curation, Virtual Exhibition, and a Test of 3D Geometric Morphometrics: A Case Study of the Vanderpool Vessels from the Ancestral Caddo Territory

  • Robert Z. Selden (a1), Timothy K. Perttula (a2) and Michael J. O’Brien (a3)

Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) digital scanning of archaeological materials is typically used as a tool for artifact documentation. With the permission of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, 3D documentation of Caddo funerary vessels from the Vanderpool site (41SM77) was conducted with the initial goal of ensuring that these data would be publicly available for future research long after the vessels were repatriated. A digital infrastructure was created to archive and disseminate the resultant 3D datasets, ensuring that they would be accessible by both researchers and the general public (CRHR 2014a). However, 3D imagery can be used for much more than documentation. To illustrate this, these data were utilized in a 3D morphometric analysis of the intact and reconstructed vessels to explore the range of variation that occurs in ceramic vessel shape and its potential contribution to the local ceramic taxonomy. Results of the 3D morphometric analysis demonstrate the potential for substantive analytical gains in discussions of temporal resolution and ceramic technological organization in the ancestral Caddo region.

El escaneado tridimensional (3D) de materiales arqueológicos se utiliza normalmente como una herramienta para documentar artefactos. Con el permiso de la Nación Caddo de Oklahoma, la documentación tridimensional de vasijas funerarias del sitio Vanderpool (41SM77) tuvo como meta, el asegurar que esta información permanezca disponible al público para la realización de investigaciones futuras, inclusive después de su repatriación. La infraestructura digital fue creada para archivar y difundir los conjuntos de datos tridimensionales derivados, asegurándose que estos sean accesibles a los investigadores y al público en general (CRHR 2014a). Sin embargo, las imágenes tridimensionales pueden ser utilizadas más allá de la propia documentación. Para ejemplificarlo, estos datos se utilizaron en un análisis tridimensional morfométrico de vasijas reconstruidas e intactas y con ello explorar el rango de variación que ocurre en la forma de la vasija cerámica, así como su potencial para contribuir a la taxonomía cerámica local. Los resultados del análisis tridimensional morfométrico demuestran el potencial de las ventajas analíticas sustantivas en las discusiones sobre su resolución temporal y la organización tecnológica de la cerámica en la región ancestral Caddo.

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Advances in Documentation, Digital Curation, Virtual Exhibition, and a Test of 3D Geometric Morphometrics: A Case Study of the Vanderpool Vessels from the Ancestral Caddo Territory

  • Robert Z. Selden (a1), Timothy K. Perttula (a2) and Michael J. O’Brien (a3)

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