Advances in Object Analysis Within Museum Collections


Advances in Object Analysis Within Museum Collections

Brianna Stellini, Museum Studies Intern at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History – Fall 2021 

This semester I worked at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in the Anthropology department under the supervision of Dr. Lisa Haney and Dr. Joshua Cannon. Our main goal of this semester was to develop knowledge and skills using Artec 3D Scanning devices and to apply the techniques we learned to aid in the scanning of various objects in the collection. These scans will be used in upcoming museum exhibitions. After we finished scanning what was needed for these projects, we moved on to thinking about the further application of 3D scanning within the realm of archeological study. Our focus was the use of 3D scanning when analyzing pottery and pottery sherds.  

To do so, we conducted our own experiment. We purchased a bowl from a chain store that we knew would be a standardized form. We dropped the bowl so it would shatter and then chose a shard that had features of both the rim and base of the bowl which we decided would be the best suited for our purposes. We took scans of both the intact bowl and the sherd and used the scanner software to take profiles of both scans.  

With this experiment, we intended to expand on current research already done on the topic of using 3D scanning on pottery and how scanning can improve the long-established archaeological practices of hand drawing pottery profiles. Scanning these types of objects can reveal details that may be otherwise invisible to the naked eye, making the use of scanning very important to further studies on ancient pottery. While I and the other interns in the program this semester were only the first to use the new scanning technology, future members of the program will be able to apply this extremely new technology to other types of objects within the Carnegie Museum’s vast collection and continue the work we started. 

  • Academic Interns
  • Undergraduate Work