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Charles Koenig

January 8, 2021
man with rock slabs
Using a serice of overlapping photos and 3-D printing, Charles Koenig reproduced a section of petroglyphs, removed from a cliff face near Greybull, Wyo.

Silverthorne, Colo.

Ph.D. student, anthropology


“In 1962, several large fragments of a rock art site were drilled, cut and blasted off a cliff face near Greybull, Wyo. At the time, archaeologists thought the petroglyphs were under threat from vandalism and potential reservoir construction.

“In 2017, nine of the Greybull rock art fragments were transported to Laramie as part of a collaboration among the Department of Anthropology, Office of the Wyoming State Archaeologist, UW Archaeological Repository (UWAR), UW Libraries, UW Innovation Wyrkshop, Draper Natural History Museum, Plains Indian Museum and the Bureau of Land Management. One of the primary goals was the creation of 3D models for digital and physical reconstructions.

“In 2019, I conducted photogrammetry (a series of overlapping photographs to produce a 3D model) for the rock art fragments as part of my graduate assistantship. Once the digital reconstruction of the damaged fragments was complete, I worked with UWAR and UW Libraries’ Chad Hutchens to begin producing a physical replica. With help and training from Tyler Kerr and the staff at the Innovation Wyrkshop, we designed a 3D print that could be used for an educational exhibit about rock art and conservation. To be able to make a single 10-foot 3D replica, I printed 85 individual pieces (over 320 hours of print time). After printing was complete, the pieces were glued together and sand-textured paint applied.

“Although we will never be able to physically put the rock art fragments back into their original locations, the digital and physical reconstruction of the Greybull rock art fragments helps fill the gaps created during their removal.”

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