The American Southwest Virtual Museum features interactive artifacts in the form of 3D models, reflectance transformation imaging (RTI), and pottery vessel rotations. 3D models allow the user to rotate artifacts fully, viewing all sides; RTI enhances artifact surfaces and allows users to change the lighting to see features otherwise obscured by shadows; and the rotations allow users to turn vessels and zoom in on details.
Explore below or or use the buttons to jump to the interactive features you would like to use.
The American Southwest Virtual Museum features a number of 3D models. These were created by stitching together a series of photographs to create a digital interactive model of each.
Emil Haury (1904-1992) was one of the great names in Southwest archaeology. The featured model above is of a replica of a Hohokam (central and southern Arizona) artifact made by Haury and dated “8-20-31” on the back. The mosaic consists of turquoise and coral fixed to the outer surface of a clam shell.
Archaeological Materials (all models open in new window)
Historic Artifacts (all models open in new window)
Paleontological Specimens (all models open in new window)
Statues and Replicas (all models open in new window)
Reflectance transformation imaging
Several artifacts included in the American Southwest Virtual Museum can be viewed with Reflectance Transformation Imaging, or RTI. This method allows users to view the artifacts under different lighting conditions, and therefore to see features that might otherwise be obscured by shadows cast during the photography process.
Note: If you see an error message below, please copy and paste chrome://settings/system into the Chrome search bar and toggle “Use hardware acceleration when available” to off.
John Wesley Powell’s Watch (GRCA Catalog No. 20836)
Featured above is the gold watch and watch key that belonged to Major John Wesley Powell. Powell led two expeditions down the Colorado River—the first in 1869, and the second in 1871-1872.
Flaked Stone Artifacts
NPS Badges and Buttons
The artifacts in this gallery are displayed using WebRTIViewer.
The American Southwest Virtual Museum also includes ceramic vessel rotations, in which the viewer can turn the vessels and zoom in on details. Available rotations are arranged by ware below.
Kayenta Black-on-white Olla (NAVA Catalog No. 436)
Featured above is a Kayenta Black-on-white olla collected by Byron Cummings in Navajo National Monument in 1909. Design elements include crow’s feet, mosquito bars, interlocking scrolls, spirals, and angular parallel lines.
Alameda Brown Ware
Cibola White Ware
Hohokam Buff Ware
Jeddito Yellow Ware
Mogollon Brown Ware
Tsegi Orange Ware
Tusayan Gray Ware
Tusayan White Ware
Winslow Orange Ware