Prehistoric Pottery 3D for teaching and education

Bison code: L.28294

Archaeology is based on the scientific study of material culture. Students are taught to use cultural material to distinguish different culture groups (determination), to understand its technology (mode d’opératoire) and to use it for dating complexes and sites (typo-chronology). For the prehistoric period the study of cultural material culture, in absence of written sources, plays a substantial part of understanding the behavior of past societies.

Part of the curriculum of the education in prehistoric archaeology taught at Saxion (Academy of Business, Building & Technology) is using archaeological artifacts to understand the technological and typological developments through time. The main artifact category used for prehistorical studies is pottery. As prehistorical pottery is handmade and locally produced, the determination and dating is a matter of gaining experience, handling the artifacts and documenting the diagnostic features.

The bachelor study of archaeology at Saxion has become very popular over the past 10 years. Each year more than 100 students start the training. It has become harder to provide enough pots for a solid base of knowledge about prehistoric pottery. Another problem is that the precious prehistoric pots are on loan from the regional depot and may in due time get damaged as a result of handling. Furthermore, students should get acquainted with pottery from other regions in the Netherlands as well. However, to get museum pieces into the classroom, it would mean more effort, painstaking administrative actions and, most importantl, more risk of damages. Finally, the present corona-crisis and the necessity to transform traditional classes into online classes, make this project even more relevant.

The project is a continuation of a project running in the first semester of 20-21. In this follow-up project we will ask you to think and explore all possible ways to enable students to interact with prehistoric material virtually. Adapt and enhance the material already created and think of innovative solutions to use 3D techniques to teach and learn about archaeological material. In addition, we will ask you to create 3D models/scans of archeological material provided in collaboration with us. We expect to create an online database which can not only be used by us, but also by primary and secondary education. Pottery lessons can be expanded with instructional (interactive) videos about (experimental) technology (how were pots made?), social interaction within prehistoric society (how were pots used?) and archaeometric research (what did pots contain?). Find innovative ways to present and handle material that is normally only available in museums and depots. How can students and interested people experience material of the past?

Cluster: The Future of the Past