Our venues

3D laser scanning the MMA cohoba stand

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

Accession number 1979.206.380

The Michael C Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A Rockefeller, 1979

curator laser scanning wooden figure 

Joanna Ostapkowicz studying the cohoba stand.

The cohoba stand| was taken off display, especially to be 3D laser scanned and studied. It took two and a half days to record the whole sculpture using a non-contact laser scanning system. High resolution photographs were taken of areas of particular interest identified by Joanna Ostapkowicz during her research.

detail of underside of wooden figure's carved nose 

Close up of the carving on the underneath of the nose of the cohoba stand figure - one of the many areas of interest identified on the cohoba stand.

The cohoba stand has some areas that are very hard to reach using a laser scanner. In areas such as around the hips and under the arms the data had to be collected from multiple angles.

detail of wooden figure's back, showing carved spine 

The cohoba stand from the back showing the spine, arms and hips – the areas inside the arms were difficult to scan.

Once back in Liverpool, using the 3D data collected in New York, a computer model of the cohoba stand to sub-millimeter resolution was created. The high resolution photographs taken of important parts of the cohoba stand were mapped onto the 3D model.

Click on the thumbnails below to see the results.

Screenshot of the 3D computer model of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's cohoba stand (front view). Screenshot of the 3D computer model of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's cohoba stand (side view). Screenshot of the 3D computer model of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's cohoba stand (back view). Screenshot of the 3D computer model of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's cohoba stand (bottom view). The sculpture was made from a one piece of wood. Screenshot of the 3D computer model of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's cohoba stand (top view). A container of cohoba powder (a hallucinogenic snuff) would have been placed on the platform, and used during important ceremonies Screenshot of the 3D computer model of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's cohoba stand with colour photos mapped onto the 3D model in areas of particular interest. Screenshot of the 3D computer model of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's cohoba stand with a colour photo mapped onto the 3D model. The resinous materials present in the eyes underwent GC/MS analysis at the MMA labs, and turned out to be modern. Screenshot of the 3D computer model of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's cohoba stand with a colour photo mapped onto the 3D model. Working grooves on the underside of the platform, showing individual striations moving along the curve of the wood. Screenshot of the 3D computer model of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's cohoba stand with colour photos mapped onto the 3D model. Focal areas included the tear track, the furrow at the bridge of the nose, the cut on the upper lip and the deeply cut nostrils.

The video clip below shows the 3D model with a texture (colour map) applied.

Further information

A 3D interactive viewer| has also been created of the MMA cohoba stand.