Vessel volumes: innovative computer applications for ceramicists

Vicki Herring (Cambridge Archaeology Unit)

This poster presents an innovative approach to calculating vessel volumes using 3D software packages, a process not currently common within the commercial sector. It offers an overview of these approaches, and demonstrates their potential to benefit ceramic studies. The first involves an innovative and relatively simple method of calculating vessel capacities, employing digitised profile illustrations. Conventional volumetric measurements are often hard to perform, especially with later prehistoric pots from Britain, which are seldom found intact. For this reason, there have been few studies of the vessel capacity and their changes through time. This method, which utilises Maya, provides fast and accurate capacity calculations, and is currently advancing discussions of vessel function and assemblage variability within an on-going study of East Anglia’s Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age ceramic traditions.

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