Link to enlarge Archaeology Plate 107 ©Annie Hunter Travis Doering and Lori Collins



Search the all new 3D Imaging Database


This database project is conducted in collaboration with the University of South Florida's Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies (AIST) and the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc. (FAMSI). The continuing effort makes high definition, 3D laser scans, advanced photo imaging techniques, and other visualizations of Mesoamerican objects available to researchers. The data is displayed in a variety of formats to assist iconographers, epigraphers, educators, and interested observers. New datasets and images will be made accessible as they become available.

La Venta Monument 77: "The Governor", La Venta 3D Project

This video demonstrates various views, light raking and measurements with 3D scan data.

Documented pieces
Legal Matters
Methods & Technology
Database Information
Sources Cited

Documented pieces from:

KaminaljuyúTakalik Abaj

The images in the database are a way to see Mesoamerican objects the way the original artist intended, in three-dimensions. Screen captures and other formats of scan data and documentation are made available through a variety of digital media documentations, and are made available for researchers. Images are presented at a level of detail that has not been previously possible. For the scholar or researcher, the database allows intimate inspection and analysis.

Accurate, interactive, high definition three-dimensional images of the actual objects provide the researcher a number of advantages over more conventional recording processes. The individual viewer can literally "see" the artifact through their own eyes, ask their own questions, and make their own interpretations. Processed 3D scan data can be used to generate an exceptional archival record for research, restoration, reconstruction, replication, and monitoring of deterioration, using the best available technologies (Price 1996: 30; United Nations 2005).


Various obstacles have hindered a systematic, coordinated, and broad-based study of Mesoamerican artifacts, especially stone sculpture. Impediments to these types of comparative examinations have been due to the fact that many objects are disunited, dispersed across international collections and storage facilities. Additionally, sculpted pieces that have been documented may not contain detail or visibility sufficient for critical iconographic and epigraphic analysis, and Kaplan (1995:1) has called attention to difficulties in accessing some collected data. Thus, the availability of images adequate for comprehensive study is restricted for a majority of potential researchers. The Imaging Database hopes to remove, or at least alleviate, some of these barriers.

The database is readily expandable and new objects, visualizations and images will be periodically added.

We invite your comments, suggestions, and questions. Please let us know how we can improve this database. We also welcome additional or corrected information. Any individuals or institutions collecting similar three-dimensional scan data are welcome to contribute to the database. For further information and details, please contact us. Thank you.

  Scanning by the Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies at the University of South Florida
  Travis Doering, Ph. D. or Lori Collins, Ph.D.
Directors for the Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies
University of South Florida

Legal Matters

The materials contained in this archive are available to interested parties for scholarly study. For publication or other use of original drawings, photos, or 3D laser scans, permission must be requested in writing from the authors. For further copyright information, please go to

Search the 3D Imaging Database

Next Page

Return to top of page