To perceive or to compute? Comparison of impressionistic and computer-aided vessel shape classification based on completely preserved late Neolithic pottery of Central Europe.

Hinz, Martin; Heitz, Caroline (23 April 2019). To perceive or to compute? Comparison of impressionistic and computer-aided vessel shape classification based on completely preserved late Neolithic pottery of Central Europe. (Unpublished). In: 48th Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) international conference. Jagiellonian University of Krakow, Poland. 23-27 April 2019.

Since 2016, in the SNSF-project 'Mobilities, entanglements and transformations in Neolithic societies on the Swiss Plateau (3900-3500 BC)', we have been using a computer-aided classification of vessel shapes to investigate completely preserved Neolithic pottery of Swiss wetland sites and neighbouring regions from the 4th M BC beyond classical typologies and cultural assignments. We follow a holistic approach in which the entire vessel body is understood as a rotational body. One side of the rasterized, filled and equally scaled profile is extracted, and via a simple transfer of the image information into a matrix, the profile line is converted into 400 measuring points. The profile information, enriched with nominal as well as metric values, can be evaluated using various multivariate methods. We opted for a combination of t-sne as ordination and dimension-reducing method and HDBSCAN as cluster algorithm for this analysis. This approach was accompanied by a impressionistic classification by hand. We found that both methods complement each other meaningfully: While computer-aided classification was able to work out more general, cross-cultural trends, which can be interpreted with regard to the function of the vessels and a consumer perspective, impressionistic classification leads to an identification of different styles, which rather open up a producer perspective. The juxtaposition of both methods on the same material can be used to overcome existing stereotypes in the ceramic classification. Furthermore the results also serve to identify yet unresolved shortcomings of the computer-based approach, which will be addressed in the future.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of Archaeological Sciences > Pre- and Early History

UniBE Contributor:

Hinz, Martin and Heitz, Caroline

Subjects:

900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)

Language:

English

Submitter:

Caroline Heitz

Date Deposited:

23 May 2019 16:24

Last Modified:

23 May 2019 16:24

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/128784

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback