Axe outlines

100% completed

"Example of morphometric analysis

The vast majority of Bronze Age Index cards come with a standardised archaeological drawing on the back of the card. Depending on the skills of their author, the drawings display a range of fine details such as decorative motifs and wear marks, while others simplify the objects to their basic form. A typical drawing usually includes a plan and a profile view of the artefact, although some cards also incorporate sections through the septum or the blade. The corpus of drawings holds a large amount of information about the shape of axes which, once recorded as outlines, can be analysed and compared, revealing new information about the form diversity, standardisation of production, regional and sub regional groupings, as well as the relationship between shape and decoration.

The outlines produced in this application will be used to perform 2D morphometric analysis of axe shapes using elliptical Fourier analysis which decomposes each outline into a series of harmonically related ellipses describing the shape. These will be compared quantitatively to investigate their variation through time/space.

For each drawing of an axe, we would like people to calibrate the drawing to establish its correct dimensions, and then draw a series of polygons delineating its shape in plan and profile. Next, draw an outline of the flanges and the stopridge and the external outline of the loop.

This project is on behalf of:

UCL Institute of Archaeology logo
The British Museum logo

Find the code on GitHub

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