Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bird's Eye View from El Mirador Hill

Using ArcScene, I was able to create another model of the Palenque site and this is a view of the site from El Mirador hill.  On top of the hill, you can see a crude model of an ancient structure. David Stuart (2006:92) has interpreted the glyphs that refer to this mountain as "the descending Quetzal Big Mountain".  It definitely gives us a "bird's eye view", doesn't it?

One of my most important tasks in developing a GIS Palenque is to catalog and geocode the incensarios and their pictures. Above is a screen shot of my use of Excel and Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer) to try to match pictures to each artifact.  Having a unique catalog number is a major key in my research, so I must not only keep track of the old artifact number, but create unique new ones, since the old ones often have duplicated numbers that were assigned from various excavation projects at the site.  To my knowledge, there is no centralized database of all the excavations that have been done at this site.  These pictures are from Martha Cuevas' dissertation about the incensarios.

My next task is to create links of all those pictures to each of the little dots on the map that represent the incensarios.  In this way, you can use the "lighting cursor" to click on each dot and a picture of that specific incensario will appear in a pop-up window.

Another one of my research tasks is to comb through the old records and written narratives to try to reconstruct the location of the tombs and caches that were not properly documented. Some of the first archaeological discoveries at Palenque were done before archaeology actually became a science and before the age of portable cameras.  Therefore, early discoveries were not properly documented, however some early explorers wrote down what they found. Above is map that I created to try to determine the location of "a series of sealed tombs" that Edward Thompson discovered in the late 19th century.

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