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3D lithic analysis

Crompton, Shirley

In: Posluschny, A. ; Lambers, K. ; Herzog, I. (Hrsgg.): Layers of Perception. Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), Berlin, 2.-6. April 2007. Koll. Vor- u. Frühgesch. 10. Bonn 2008, pp. 147-152

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Stone tools are palimpsests of ancient lifeways which otherwise left behind few material remains. They are the products of codified human behaviours which lithic analysts seek to understand by inferring the processes that lead to their design, production, usage and eventual discard. Traditional quantitative lithic analyses typically focus on describing stone tool morphology using discrete linear measurements and on examining their formal variability by descriptive statistics. This paper presents an alternative approach based on 3D modelling techniques and demonstrates its application in a case study of Middle Palaeolithic projectile points. Using 3D landmarks to quantify artefact morphology permits an objective comparison of artefact shape variations using Procrustes superimposition, a geometric morphometrics technique for studying the shape of organisms. This approach is particularly ‘user-friendly’ as the computed shape differences can be visualised directly to facilitate an intuitive understanding of the perceived variation.

Document type: Book Section
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2010 12:59
Faculties / Institutes: Research Project, Working Group > Individuals
DDC-classification: Alte Geschichte, Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Archäologie
Subject (Propylaeum): Classical Archaeology
Controlled Keywords: Archäologie, Informatik, Computerunterstütztes Verfahren, Computervisualistik, Interdisziplinäre Forschung, Mittelpaläolithikum
Subject (classification): History of the ancient world to ca. 499