by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory
I just walked in from the field where I 3D scanned a Colonial-era cellar feature at George Washington’s Ferry Farm, continuing a busy week that will end tomorrow, July 11, 2014 in a Day of Archaeology Festival in Washington, D.C. sponsored by Archaeology in the Community. This is not the first feature that I have scanned at Ferry Farm using the Sense 3D scanner. A couple of weeks ago, I scanned this cluster of Colonial-era features at Ferry Farm–and one shovel test pit from a 1990’s archaeological survey (the square hole).
More typically, at Ferry Farm and other locations, I use a NextEngine Desktop 3D scanner to create artifact models.
The Virtual Curation Laboratory creates printed replicas of the digitally scanned artifacts and features, which are painted by students at Virginia Commonwealth University for public programs, teaching, and exhibition.
Some of these painted replicas were featured in a public archaeology program held on Independence Day (July 4) just one week ago.
The Virtual Curation Laboratory works with many partners in the cultural heritage community dedicated and devoted to protecting and presenting the past. We have a particularly fruitful relationship with Historic Jamestowne, where we have 3D scanned a wide range of artifacts that are incorporated into public programs.
In late June, with help from Jamestown Rediscovery’s Danny Schmidt, we scanned this partially excavated bread oven at Jamestown, from a cellar where the cannibalized remains of a young woman dubbed “Jane” were found.
Lest it be thought that we only work on historic-era sites, we also pursue research on pre-Contact sites, including Monongahela villages that once existed across southwestern Pennsylvania and adjacent states. We work closely with the Westmoreland Archaeological Society, a group of avocational archaeologists in Pennsylvania that are actively excavating the Consol site, a multi-component Monongahela village.