The Quiriguá 3D Project, Guatemala
The Quiriguá Archaeological Park and Ruins represents a Classic period Maya civic-ceremonial center situated on the lower Motagua River in Guatemala. The site contains extraordinary examples of monolithic carved stone monuments that depict artistically and intellectually refined glyphic texts. The carved images express political ideologies and cosmological themes that form a shared language of rulership and power during the Classic period (c. AD 250 to 950). The skill and artistry of the ancient Maya sculptors at Quiriguá led UNESCO to list it as a World Heritage Site in 1981, declaring the sculpture and architecture “universal masterpieces” Using innovative digital strategies toward the creation of a permanent digital archive of Quiriguá, the DHHC at USF Libraries worked with archaeologists at the site to 3D laser scan, map, and image the sculpture, architecture, terrain and artifacts. This project, which is an ongoing collaboration in digital heritage and online collection repository development, is vitally important since the site is imperiled and faces a number of natural and human-induced threats. In 2012, the site was placed on the World Monuments Watch List to stress the need for effective planning and protection of this internationally recognized cultural resource. The results from our digitization project have direct benefits to resource managers and to the conservation and protection of the site, and will form a lasting archive of documentation and research into the future.
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