The capabilities of modern flatbed scanners have the potential to revolutionize field work in anthropology, botany, zoology, and geology. Scanners have far more capabilities than is traditionally recognized. This web site is one of the first to reveal a practical use of scanners to cure the everyday workload of all archaeology projects.


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A UMAX scanner in your lab will redefine how you record your scientific specimens

mayan vase scan o a umax scanner
Umax scannnig mayan vase pieces
Scanning a Mayan vase on a UMAX scanner
It comes as a surprise to many people that you can record 3-dimensional objects on a flatbed scanner. Yes, there are specialized scanners for 3D objects, but those cost a fortune, outside the reach of any archaeology research project.

But a good quality flatbed scanner can do the job just fine. This is our trusty UMAX Power Look, one of the original issues (before the Power Look 2 existed). Now the Power Look 3 is out, and that can record sherds even more precisely.

Botanists can scan their botanical specimens a lot more accurately, in color. Geologists can scan their rock samples and get all the details of the crystal structure, the minute color changes, and everything else they need to record. Today, a flatbed scanner is as crucial for any research lab, museum, or professional person as a basic camera has always been.

Obviously you have to place the painted side down on the glass, but this picture is just to reveal how fully three-dimensional these sherds are. They are thick, and quite curved, yet the scanner was able to capture all the archaeological detail marvelously.

Since FLAAR itself does not own or otherwise have any ceramic artifacts, we borrowed these from a research center to record them. These images are part of a long range program (twenty years so far and over a million dollars) to photograph all extant Maya art and artifacts and to use the photographs to understand Maya civilization. Presently we have 40,000 images.

These particular sherds are part of a special project to record the ceramic history of the Motagua River drainage of central Guatemala. FLAAR recently had a symposium on this subject with Dr Gary Rex Walters and Dr Guillermo Mata each speaking on their archaeological research in the middle Motagua area. The Motagua people of the Classic period were mining jadeite in their local area. This gave them enough wealth to be able to import fancy polychromes from the Highlands. So far, more Chama and Highland God D style polychrome vases have been recorded for the Motagua area than for the entire Highland homelands for these styles.

comparation of a mayan vase scaned print
Comparing the actual 8th century Maya sherd with 21st century technology from ENCAD and EFI.

Where can you get a scanner like this?

We just call up DTP and ask for Scott Olson, 1 (800) 311-7385, ext 347 or 1 (800) 395 7778, ext 347.

Two other models have come out since, indeed you can no longer obtain this "model 1."

The photography department at our community college liked the quality of our scanner so much that they ordered a UMAX for themselves (Power Look 2). The PowerLook 2 is good enough to create large size posters.

Where to buy your UMAX scanner? The advantage of CDW is the wider range of computer products they offer (over 40,000 products such as flatbed scanners, 35mm slide scanners, color laser printers, etc.)

FLAAR offers for you more information about this subject
Scanners Preview Creo EverSmart Supreme Printing 3D Digital Rollouts
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Updated June 15, 1998, edited March 24, 1999; additional links added March 1, 2000; last checked by webdesigner Mar. 1, 2002. Most recent updated November 04, 2004, redesigned January 2004

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