Archaeology and the digital age connect in 3D artifact replicas exhibit
September 19, 2013
Projects from "Digital Archaeology in the Virtual Curation Laboratory: 3D Scanning and Research at VCU" will be on display beginning Oct. 18 in James Branch Cabell Library.
VCU students are working with project director Bernard K. Means, Ph.D., in the Virtual Curation Laboratory in Lafayette Hall. They use state-of-the-art technology to create digital models of archaeological objects from across the globe. Using a NextEngine Desktop 3D scanner and a MakerBot Replicator, they bring innovation to teaching and research.
Means, who teaches in the School of World Studies, is an archaeologist doing innovative work creating artifact replicas. His field work and research focuses on historic and prehistoric sites in Virginia and along the East Coast. The Virtual Curation Laboratory was established at VCU in 2011 through a partnership with Marine Corps Base Quantico and via funding from the Department of Defense's Legacy Program.
Three-dimensional digital models of hundreds of artifacts have been created, ranging from a 1 million-year-old Acheulian handaxe once used by Homo erectus to German bomb fragments pulled from rubble in World War II London. Most of the digital models were created from prehistoric and historic Virginia sites, including Jamestown, Montpelier, Mount Vernon, George Washington's Ferry Farm, Poplar Forest and others.