Vessel visualisation: innovative computer applications for ceramicists

Donald Horne (Cambridge Archaeology Unit)

This poster presents the results of photogrammetry as a tool for visualising pots three dimensionally. Traditional forms of illustration are effective at communicating certain kinds of information about pottery, particularly with regard to the form and style of decoration on vessels. As archaeologists we are adept at ‘reading’ these two dimensional, diagrammatic representations. But although aesthetically pleasing, these images often fail to capture the ‘essence’ of the vessels they depict. The use of photogrammetry provides a solution to this problem. It is able to create three dimensional objects that can be interrogated virtually, putting some of this ‘lost’ information back. Photogrammetry has been used in both the laboratory and in-situ environments, allowing understanding of the pot as an artefact as well as the contexts they were discovered within.

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