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A New Method for the Large-Scale Documentation of Pottery Sherds Through Simultaneous Multiple 3D Model Capture Using Structure from Motion: Phoenician Carinated-Shoulder Amphorae from Tell el-Burak (Lebanon) as a Case Study

Göttlich, Fanet and Schmitt, Aaron and Kilian, Andrea and Gries, Helen and Badreshany, Kamal (2021) 'A New Method for the Large-Scale Documentation of Pottery Sherds Through Simultaneous Multiple 3D Model Capture Using Structure from Motion: Phoenician Carinated-Shoulder Amphorae from Tell el-Burak (Lebanon) as a Case Study.', Open Archaeology, 7 (1). pp. 256-272.

Abstract

This paper presents a new rapid, low-cost method for the large-scale documentation of pottery sherds through simultaneous multiple 3D model capture using Structure from Motion (SfM). The method has great potential to enhance and replace time-consuming and expensive conventional approaches for pottery documentation, i.e., 2D photographs and drawing on paper with subsequent digitization of the drawings. To showcase the method’s effectiveness and applicability, a case study was developed in the context of an investigation of the Phoenician economy at the Lebanese site of Tell el-Burak, which is based on a large collection of amphora sherds. The same set of sherds were drawn by an experienced draftsperson and then documented through SfM using our new workflow to allow for a direct comparison. The results show that the new technique detailed here is accessible, more cost-effective, and allows for the documentation of ceramic data at a far-greater scale, while producing more consistent and reproducible results. We expect that these factors will enable excavators to greatly increase digital access to their material, which will significantly enhance its utility for subsequent research.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1515/opar-2020-0133
Publisher statement:© 2021 Fanet Göttlich et al., published by De Gruyter This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Date accepted:04 March 2021
Date deposited:11 November 2021
Date of first online publication:06 May 2021
Date first made open access:11 November 2021

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