PITTSFIELD, Mass. - A research team from Castleton University is at the Berkshire Museum this week working on a new digital archaeology project.

They’re scanning nearly 2,000-year-old grave marker sculptures from ancient Palmyra, in modern-day Syria.

The Berkshire Museum has a collection of six of these reliefs, which is the second largest at any museum outside of Syria.

The researchers are using new 3D scanning technology to capture every detail of the sculptures, which will make it possible to create accurate models that can be shared with museum guests and researchers around the world.    

“What’s really neat is what we’ll end up with is a full 3D model of the artifact that, online, you can move around, you can explore, you can look at from any different direction,” said Castleton University director of archaeology, Matthew Moriarty. “You can see it in high, high definition, and be able to, say for example, 3D print it as part of outreach efforts for school kids and things like that.”

Moriarty and his assistant, Castleton student Philip Williams, should finish scanning the reliefs on Wednesday, and the 3D models will be ready in just a couple of weeks.