Meet the Key Marco Cat, the world-famous cat statuette estimated to have been made between 500 and 1,500 years ago
Discovered by anthropologist Frank Hamilton Cushing in an 1896 Key Marco excavation, the wooden figure stayed preserved because it was buried in an oxygen-free layer of muck. While many other artifacts immediately began to disintegrate upon exposure to air, the Key Marco Cat survived with surprising detail.
“Perishable artifacts, like the Key Marco Cat, are rare in the archaeological record,” remarked Torben Rick, Chairman of the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. “Its significance lies in the information it holds about the human past, cultural diversity, and the ways that these issues can inspire researchers and the general public.”
The Key Marco Cat – a half-human, half-panther figure thought to have religious significance – is the most famous of the Pepper-Hearst artifacts. Carved in native buttonwood using shark teeth and shell scrapers, the 6-inch figure is a pristine example of the fine Calusa artistry and workmanship.
Scientists say that careful rubbing with animal fat left a patina that protected the figure after it was buried by a catastrophic hurricane in the 12th or 13th century.
Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/sponsored/more-9-lives-preserved-against-odds-key-marco-cat-returning-marco-island-florida-180970215
And here: https://www.keymarcocat.com/history.html
The Smithsonian Museum has been digitizing and publishing some of their exhibit pieces. These are high quality laser scans
This is a 1:1 highly detailed laser scan for the actual artifact. Since the original is 6 inches tall, it fits in my Da Vinci Jr. printer.
The details are exquisite. The wood grain really comes through, especially when painted. This is, by far, the most beautiful thing I have printed.
I printed it at .1mm resolution in white PLA. It was painted with a base coat of Paynes Grey then dry brushed with a mix of Norwegian Orange and Burnt Umber. Highlights were done with a mixture of Vermillion and Brown Earth (all acrylic). I only did the printing someone else did the painting.
Link to the Model:
The last photo is of the actual Key Marco Cat.
The Readme file is from the Smithsonian. PLEASE everyone, respect their guidance. The models they are publishing are beautiful and credit should be given.