3D modeling

Maya Research Program’s 24th Archaeological field season in Belize

What is the Maya Research Program?

The Maya Research Program (MRP) is a 501C3 non profit that supports archaeological and ethnographic research in Middle America. From May to August Each year since 1992 we have sponsored archaeological research in northwestern Belize and ethnographic research in the village of Yaxunah, Mexico. The Blue Creek Archaeological Project currently includes research at the sites of Blue Creek, Xnoha, Bedrock, Nojol Nah, Tulix Mul, Grey Fox, and Tamarindo (You can read many MRP publications here.) MRP has been instrumental in documenting and protecting numerous Maya sites in northwestern Belize. Over 3000 students and volunteers have participated in the project in the past 23 years. MRP’s research members include faculty members and graduate students from over a dozen universities worldwide. In addition, the Blue Creek field school has been certified by the Register of Professional Archaeologists and is affiliated with the University of Texas at Tyler.

MRP’s goal is, first and foremost, to conduct research that helps us better understand the complex ancient societies of the Americas. MRP is proud to have a diverse staff of talented scientists contributing to this goal and our affiliated scholars are recognized as leaders in their fields. Recent support has come from the Archaeological Institute of America, National Geographic Society, the National Science Foundation,  the Heinz Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies. In addition, the Blue Creek field school has been certified by the Register of Professional Archaeologists and the project was recognized as the winner of the Archaeological Institute of America’s Excavation Outreach contest.

Another key MRP goal is to encourage the participation of students and volunteers — anyone who wants to experience the real world of archaeological or anthropological research and understand how we learn about other cultures may join us. We see this as a critical educational component of MRP’s work and it helps us accomplish our research goals as well. The ages of our participants range from 18 to over 80. So many of our participants return year after year that MRP has become an extended family. About half of our participants are university students under 30 years old and the other half are professionals and retirees. While the majority of participants this summer have come from the United States and Canada, we have numerous students and volunteers from Australian, European, Latin American, and Japanese institutions as well. For students, academic credit can usually be arranged. While many students go on to careers in other fields, numerous students go on to become successful graduate students in archaeology or a related field and return to focus on MRP projects for their theses and dissertations.

From May to August of each year, MRP hosts four two-week sessions for students and volunteers at Blue Creek. Everyone is a full participant in the effort and is involved with field excavations and laboratory work. You can read more about what to expect at the MRP’s field school in our Participant Guide.

Scholarships and fellowships are available.

If you are interested in joining the MRP team   – please get in touch soon as space is limited! If you have any questions – please don’t hesitate to contact us:

Maya Research Program

Website: http://www.mayaresearchprogram.org
1910 East Southeast Loop 323
#296; Tyler, Texas 75701
Phone: 817-831-9011
Email: mrpinquiries@gmail.com

2015 Day of Archaeology Update:

MRP is proud to support a vast range of talented researchers from across the globe under the project’s umbrella. The Blue Creek Archaeological Project’s research members include not only archaeologists, but also soil scientists, geoarchaeologists, geographers, conservationists, cultural anthropologists, bioarchaeologists, and botanists. Our 2015 excavations started on June 1st and end on August 2nd. This year’s excavations are located at the ancient Maya site of Xnoha and are focused on the elite residences west of Plaza A, two residential ancestor shrines, and the monumental architecture of the site core. In addition, we have excavated the rejollado feature at the site of Blue Creek and identified numerous canals and wetland resources in the area. Our expanded course offerings in 1) PXRF and Artifact Analysis 2) Bioarchaeology and 3) Photogrammetry and 3D Digital Modeling are also active.

Location of Blue Creek

Location of Blue Creek

Plan View of Xnoha

Plan View of Xnoha

Overview of Structure 103 bench prior to excavation (facing west)

Overview of Structure 103 bench prior to excavation (facing west)

Complete excavation of Structure 103 bench

Complete excavation of Structure 103 bench

Mapping the bench in Structure 103

Mapping the bench in Structure 103

Overview of Structure 103 bench - excavation complete  (facing west)

Overview of Structure 103 bench – excavation complete (facing west)

3D modeling of Structure 103 (Robert Warden - Center for Heritage Conservation - Texas A&M University)

3D modeling of Structure 103 (Robert Warden – Center for Heritage Conservation – Texas A&M University)

3D modeling of Structure 103 (Robert Warden - Center for Heritage Conservation - Texas A&M University)

3D modeling of Structure 103 (Robert Warden – Center for Heritage Conservation – Texas A&M University)

Excavation of Structure 100 (facing north)

Excavation of Structure 100 (facing north)

Excavation of Structure 100 (facing north)

Excavation of Structure 100 (facing north)

Excavation of Structure 100 (facing north)

Excavation of Structure 100 (facing north)

Excavation of Structure 77 (facing west)

Excavation of Structure 77 (facing west)

Mapping of Structure 77 (facing southwest)

Mapping of Structure 77 (facing southwest)

Crew Chief

Crew Chief

Adopt a Maya Site Update

The Maya Research Program is very pleased to announce that we have purchased 83.6 acres on the New River Lagoon. This land acquisition includes the ancient Maya site of Tamarindo. The site’s location on the New River Lagoon gave its inhabitants strategic access to important coastal trade routes. MRP is pleased to contribute to the conservation of this endangered archaeological and ecological resource. You can read more about this conservation effort is Popular Archaeology

In addition, the Maya Research Program has an opportunity to acquire an additional 35 acres of the ancient Maya site of Grey Fox. MRP was able to purchase 90 acres of this site in 2011 thanks to the generosity of our supporters and donors. As with MRP’s purchase of the site core of Grey Fox in 2011 – MRP very much needs the your help with this settlement zone acquisition.

Please help MRP purchase more of this important archaeological site and ecological resource and conserve it for the future.  Your tax-deductible donation of $100 will allow us to buy a quarter of an acre and a $400 donation will buy an entire acre. Of course any donation is more than welcome and 100% of the funds go directly to this initiative.

As a thank you present for donations exceeding $50 USD – MRP is offering a custom trowel. This custom heavy-duty Marshalltown 4 inch-pointing trowel (London style) is the perfect tool for excavating features! Your $50 (or more!) donation will help MRP conserve archaeological sites in Belize. (Please note we will mail these thank you gifts in August when we return from Belize). Please donate now to adopt this endangered Maya site and save it from destruction. 

Tour the Maya World Update

Please note that the full itinerary for our annual New Year’s tour in now avalible on our website. The Maya Research Program will offer a New Year’s tour from December 28th, 2015 to January 9th, 2016. You can join MRP for the adventure of a lifetime as we explore the Costa Maya and the Jewels of the Jungle. From Mexico’s stunning sites of Oxtankah, Dzibanche, Calakmul, and Becan to the jewels of Belize – Caracol, Xunantunich, and Cerros – we invite you to join us as we take a memorable journey through Mexico and Belize. Travel for a great cause and join us this winter! (You can download the full brochure here.)

Follow MRP’s Research Online

Remember if  you can’t join us in person this summer – you can follow our work via our webpageFacebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts. You can also read numerous MRP publications for free via our webpage or explore our virtual museum. 

If you are interested in contributing to our adopt a Maya site initiative, or would like to travel for a great cause this New Year’s, or would like more information about our archaeological or ethnographic field programs, please do not hesitate to get in touch!

The Maya Research Program is a 501C3 non- profit organization and is affiliated with the University of Texas at Tyler.

Session 3 2015

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Historical Archaeology New Technologies and Community

As an associate professor of Digital Media at Drexel University and as a cultural anthropologist my interests focus on using digital technologies to explore issues relating to cultural heritage. I work with digital media students, Philadelphia area archaeologists, operators of historic sites and archaeologists, historians and museum curators at Independence National Historical Park (INHP) to produce 3D digital models of historical artifacts, structures and sites. Several of the 3D house models are visualizations based on archaeological evidence and historical documents.  One such model is the James Oronoco Dexter House.  (more…)

Maya Research Program’ s 23rd archaeological field season in Belize

MRP Logo 2013

What is the Maya Research Program?

The Maya Research Program is a U.S.-based non-profit organization (501C3) that sponsors archaeological and ethnographic research in Middle America. Each summer since 1992, we have sponsored archaeological fieldwork in northwestern Belize and ethnographic research in the village of Yaxunah, Mexico. The Maya Research Program is affiliated with the University of Texas at Tyler.

Our goal is, first and foremost, to conduct research that helps us better understand the complex ancient societies of the Americas. MRP is proud to have a diverse staff of talented scientists contributing to this goal and many of our affiliated scholars are recognized as leaders in their fields. Recent support has come from the Archaeological Institute of America, National Geographic Society, the National Science Foundation, the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, the Heinz Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies. In addition, the Blue Creek field school has been certified by the Register of Professional Archaeologists and the project was recognized as the winner of the Archaeological Institute of America’s Excavation Outreach contest.

Another key MRP goal is to encourage the participation of students and volunteers — anyone who wants to experience the real world of archaeological or anthropological research and understand how we learn about cultures may join us. We see this as a critical educational component of MRP’s work and it helps us accomplish our research goals as well. The ages of our participants range from 18 to over 80. So many of our participants return year after year that MRP has become an extended family. About half of our participants are university students under 30 years old and the other half are professionals and retirees. While the majority of participants come from the United States and Canada, we have students from Australian,  European, Latin American, and Japanese institutions as well. For students, academic credit can usually be arranged either via UTT or the student’s home institution. Many of our students go on to become successful graduate students in archaeology or a related field and return to focus on MRP projects for their theses and dissertations.

In 2014 and 2015 we again offer opportunities to participate in our field program and learn about the Maya of the past and today. The Blue Creek Archaeological Project is open to student and non-student participants, regardless of experience. The field school has been certified by the Register of Professional Archaeologists and participants will receive training in archaeological field and laboratory techniques. Academic credit and scholarships are available. We invite students and volunteers to participate in the Maya Research Program’s  archaeological field season in northwestern Belize.

2014 Season Dates:
Session 1: Monday May 26 to Sunday June 8
Session 2: Monday June 9 to Sunday June 22
Session 3: Monday June 30 to Sunday July 13
Session 4: Monday July 14 to Sunday July 27

2015 Season Dates:

Session 1: Monday June 1st to Sunday June 14th

Session 2: Monday June 15th to Sunday June 28th

Session 3: Monday July 6th to Sunday July 19th

Session 4: Monday July 20th to Sunday August 2nd

If you are interested in joining the team this summer or next  – please get in touch soon as space is limited! If you have any questions – please don’t hesitate to contact us:

Maya Research Program
1910 East Southeast Loop 323
#296; Tyler, Texas 75701
Phone: 817-831-9011
Email: mrpinquiries@gmail.com

MRP’s 23rd archaeological field season in Belize

The Maya Research Program is having a very successful 23rd archaeological field season in northwestern Belize! This summer we are concentrating on the site of Xnoha. Xnoha is a medium sized Maya center located on the edge of the Alacranes Bajo. We are delineating the architecture of the site core, three of its elite residences, and a possible shrine structure. In addition, we have recorded and conserved the mural recovered from Tulix Mul, secured numerous soil samples from wetland features, and finalized excavations at “Alvin’s Cave” and “Rice Mill Cave 3.” Our bioarchaeology field school is active this session and we are looking forward to our 3D modeling and photogrammetry workshop next week.  If you are interested in seeing weekly updates from the field – you can follow our progress on our Facebook page or via the photo gallery on our website.

 


Aerial Survey of Archaeological Excavations Using Quad-Rotor and Hex-Rotor Aircraft – Arch Aerial

My name is Ryan Baker, and I’m the founder of Arch Aerial LLC, a group dedicated to developing easy to use aerial photography platforms for research applications.  During the 2013 field season we had teams all over the world working at archaeological excavations, but this week our final project for the summer is wrapping up at the Poggio Civitate Archaeological Project in Murlo, Italy.

IMG_0967_wl

On all of our projects this field season, we use quad and hex-rotor helicopters designed by our team to conduct aerial imaging of archaeological sites of varying scale.  Friday, July 26th, 2013 was a typical day of work in Murlo: here at Poggio Civitate we begin with the thirty-minute walk through the Tuscan countryside to the site on the top of the hill.  After arriving at the trenches for the 2013 field season, we immediately take aerial orthorectified photographs of the entire excavation area.  Capturing the necessary photos takes around five minutes, and once they are offloaded from the camera’s memory card, our technicians begin 3D modeling the excavation area on site using 3D photogrammetry software. Producing the 3D model of the excavation area takes around 20 minutes, and the excavation director is able to use this model to assess the progress of excavation and direct site staff on how to proceed for the day.  In addition to 3D modeling of the excavation area, we are also able to do 3D modeling of artifacts using land-based photography.  Below you can see an example of this in the form of a 3D model of a roofing antefix.

Screen Shot 2013-07-27 at 5.25.55 PM

Once the 3D model of the excavation area is complete, our team continues survey of the entirety of the hill.  One of our main goals for this season at Poggio Civitate is to produce both 2D and 3D imaging of the whole of Poggio Civitate and the surrounding area.  Survey flights occupy the rest of the morning, and then around lunch our team leaves the hill to begin processing data from the first half of the day.  For the remainder of the afternoon, our Field Operators georeference locus photos, finalize 3D models from the excavation area, and compile 2D and 3D imaging for the comprehensive view of Poggio Civitate and its surroundings.

DCIM102GOPRO

In addition to Poggio Civitate our teams have conducted aerial imaging at the San Giovenale Tom Survey run by the Swedish Institute in Rome, and the Programme for Belize Archaeological Project at the Rio Bravo Conservation Management Area.  The video below was not made with footage from July 26th 2013, but it depicts a typical day of survey at the Programme for Belize Archaeological Project and the 3D models we were able to produce while working there.

Arch Aerial at PfBAP – Dos Hombres on Vimeo.

Although this isn’t all we do in terms of remote sensing, it gives a glimpse into the world of aerial survey and how it can be applied to the field of archaeology. Looking forward to sharing a year’s worth of developments on the next Day of Archaeology!

Interested taking a closer look at our work from this field season? Check out www.archaerial.com for more videos and updates from the field.

 

One Day with the Digital Archaeology Lab (University of Foggia)

IMG_8033Today the team of the Digital Archaeology Lab (LAD) is joining the archaeological equipe on the site of Montecorvino (View torre di montecorvino in a larger map). The wonderful medieval site is located about 30 km west from Foggia, on the hills of the Apennines. Starting from 2006, an archaeological team of University of Foggia guided by prof. Pasquale Favia and prof.ssa Roberta Giuliani is working here to understand the sequence of the settlement. Since then, the LAD team realized several projects regarding Montecorvino site. First, the 3D survey of the tower has been carried out using laser scanner and photo modeling. More recently we started the project of a wide reconstructive 3D model of the tower and the whole site (see bottom of the post …). During last months the students of Digital Archaeology realized several 3D models inspired to the tower for their exam.

Today we are climbing on the site to see the results of the last campaign, meet the guys that are digging for their last week of work before summer holidays, and take some shots that will be used in the final reconstruction.

Spend with us your Day Of Archaeology 2013!

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