3D Model Pilot demonstration

Royal Society Award to Beaminster Museum

Beaminster Museum has been awarded a grant to purchase a new 3D Scanner to enable using 3D scanning to improve access and education to heritage objects.

Royal Society Award text

Beaminster Museum is a volunteer run community museum in West Dorset, keen to strengthen links to the local community and nearby museums. As a relatively new museum, (founded 1995) much of the historical and archaeological material from the area is in other museums. 

The museum plans to fill gaps in telling the story of their local community by using 3D scans and digital display to share material on display elsewhere, but also to use the material in new ways to help improve their educational offering. The scans will be used to tell the historical stories in a more interactive way to help appeal to a younger audience, especially the groups of local schoolchildren who visit, and for whom there are themed visits such as on the Iron Age, or recently on WW1 and a local Victoria Cross recipient (the first air based VC – William Rhodes Moorhouse), and share more material to a wider public audience.

Royal Society Award

Our initial focus will be on the Roman Fort of Waddon Hill, the material from which is scattered, and on the local National Nature Reserve fossils, from Horn Park Quarry.

This could be a library of all the artefacts from Waddon Hill, from the Antiquarian finds of the 19th c, the Webster excavations, and the personal collection of Mr. Tolley. Currently these are scattered between Bridport, Dorchester, Poole, The Ashmolean, The British Museum, Stoke Abbott Parish Hall and Beaminster, and have never all been assembled in one place.

Below are some examples of what future work might look like, but most of these models were prepared with photogrammetry before acquiring the new 3D scanner, which should speed up the process and produce more accurate models. Click on the icon bottom right of the model to make it full screen.


Item 1.0 Waddon Hill : Two handled Flask fragment- Webster, Dorset Museum Proceedings 1962, course pottery item 4, DMAG number 1962.46. Ref 1. Dimensions approx. 200 mm tall.

Two handled Flask fragment – from Webster 1962, course pottery, item 4, DMAG number 1962.46. Compare the published illustration, with the 3D model below.

Which helps you better understand the object ?

A double handled flagon with the handles showing a peak and the rim with an internal lid seating, in Black Burnished ware with brown oxidised patches. This is a fully romanised form but made in the local native technique including the vertical burnishing on the neck, a feature of later flagons made in the South West. Kindly on loan from Dorset Museum and Art Gallery.
Photogrammetry based Model.

Broadwindsor Brooch

This is the first scan using the new scanner. A faster process, and a more accurate mesh model, than photogrammetry but this first attempt lacks the desired resolution on the surface texture. We have a new approach and we will improve the textures on this same model in the next few weeks. The scanner models can also be reproduced physically.

This fragment of a 1st century brooch is almost certainly a stray from Waddon Hill, and was found by a metal detectorist two fields to the north of Waddon Hill fort. It was kindly donated to Beaminster Museum.

An incomplete copper alloy Aesica bow brooch.There are old breaks in several places. The open wings are incomplete. At the head is a remnant of a rearward hook. The pin is missing. The lozenge-shaped head arches steeply forming a loop with the flat bow behind it. The head is decorated with a central longitudinal rib with and eye-like moulding either side (a curving ridge around a pellet). There is a slight projection on each side apex. Where the head joins the bow there is a raised circular ridge. Below this extends the stub of the leg decorated with a crescent at the top a pellet below and side ridges. At the back is a remnant of the catchplate.
Date: Late Iron Age to Early Roman – c. AD 43 – 100
Dimensions: 37.58 mm x 23.03 mm x 18.50 mm
Weight: 20.80 g

Spatial coordinates : 4 Figure: ST4400

Entry In PAS DataBase at the British Museum

The model below is the first using the new scanner, with a hybrid approach to improve the surface textures. In in the next few weeks we will replace this with a better version we know is possible, and with new imagery, and later still with a new viewer giving easier control over the object.

The first hybrid model, a detailed mesh derived from the scanner overlaid with texture from 2D images.

Paleolithic Hand Axe from Hursey Common, Broadwindsor

The oldest man made object in our collection, this is one of a group of hand axes were found in the1940’s just outside Broadwindsor. They date to a time before the current human species, and are probably Neanderthal, from about 300,000 years ago, before recent Ice Ages.
Dimensions approx. 180 mm tall.

Bulbury Camp Bull Figurine

An Iron Age bronze figure, one of a pair, thought to be rein guides, unearthed in the 1880’s. The other one of the pair is in Dorchester. The hoard also included a large anchor and chain, on display in Dorchester Museum and Art Gallery, and Beaminster Museum also has a small part of the anchor chain on display.
Kindly on loan from Dorset Museum and Art Gallery. Dimensions approx. 80 mm tall.