In 2009, the JCHP bought a NextEngine 3D scanner for the scanning of small objects and ceramic vessel fragments. The purpose of this endeavor is to demonstrate the ease, value, and economy of scanning objects as a regular part of the processing of small finds and ceramics. In 2010, the scanner was employed for the scanning of sherd profiles, which saved considerably on the time and cost associated with traditional ceramic illustration. While certain ceramic forms, notably complete closed vessels, cannot be scanned with the scanner and still require illustration by hand, the scanner permits the acquisition of large quantities of data in the field and batch processing of profiles for illustration out of the field. Not only can a larger number of sherds be selected for illustration, but these sherds can more readily be compared to digitally scanned ceramics from other excavations. This effort is being undertaken in collaboration with Dr. Neil Smith (UC, San Diego) of the Edomite Lowlands Project and Avshalom Karasik (Hebrew University) of the Tel Dor Excavation Project.
During the 2011 research season, high resolution 3D scans were made of the lion skull following stablization and limited restoration efforts in advance of its display in the Jaffa Museum. The Quicktime VR movie below was made from the 3D scans and showcases the possibilities for further study and virtual display of this unique and rare artifact from Jaffa. Three resolutions of the movie are available for viewing: