William L Fash, Jr.
Former DRCLAS Executive Committee member
Faculty Project: Archaeological Investigations and Heritage Conservation at a Gateway Site in the Copan Valley, Honduras
The Copan Hieroglyphic Stairway Scanning Project
The Hieroglyphic Stairway Scanning Project is a collaboration between the Corpus Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions program (CMHI), the Peabody Museum at Harvard University, and the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History, to produce a three-dimensional model of the fragile and deteriorating monument as a safe copy for posterity. Using a new non-invasive methodology, the portable structured light optical SmartSCAN system by Breuckmann, 3D data of the inscription is captured at high resolution without harming the original. While complementing traditional documentation, the new 3D model will preserve a copy of the longest inscription in the Americas and Copán’s dynastic history from 425-756 AD. The resulting model will facilitate a new virtual reconstruction of the inscription, which was restored 65% out of order in the 1940s and was recently 80% deciphered and reordered with a team of the top Maya epigraphers. Three local Copán staff are trained in all aspects of the scanning operation, and a complete data set is stored in both Honduras and at Harvard. The field scanning is estimated to be completed in 2011.
Participating Harvard faculty: William Fash, Bowditch Professor of Central American and Mexican Archaeology and Ethnology; Howells Director of the Peabody Museum; Barbara Fash, Director of the Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions Program
Collaborating Institutions: Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History
Archeology and Community at Copan Ruins, Honduras: The Carnegie Photo Project