Amphora Profiling: Roman Types A-B

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"Example amphora in 2D and 3D

This application enables the creation of 3D 'solid of revolution' models from archaeological line drawings of vessel profiles. In particular, it creates 2D outlines of amphoras (two-handled clay jars for maritime transport) in a step-by-step way that allows them to be automatically converted into 3D models. The results can be used for various kinds of typological modelling, as well as for calculating useful data about an amphora's capacity (how much it could hold), its centre of gravity (when empty or full), points at which it was more likely to break given its shape, and likely behaviour when loaded into the hold of a ship.

This particular application considers Roman amphoras (especially those circulating in the western Mediterranean during the Roman imperial period) and takes advantage of an excellent typological resource of line drawings by Penny Copeland that was created by the University of Southampton and archived with the UK Archaeology Data Service.

For each scanned drawing of an amphora, we would like people to calibrate the drawing to establish its correct dimensions, and then draw a series of polygons delineating its external shape, internal profile, handles etc.

This application enables the creation of a high quality 3D model of an archaeological artefact via process known as photo-masking. There has been a revolution in 3D modelling in recent years and it is now relatively easy to construct such models from ordinary digital photographs. Isolating the object depicted in these photographs, and masking out the background, is an important first step to achieving high quality results. The final 3D model will be made publicly available and is useful not only for basic documentation purposes, but also for graphical displays in museums, for inclusion in gaming and virtual reality environments, or for identifying different sub-styles in otherwise similar types of artefact (that might tell us about the date of the artefact, where it was made, or by whom).

This project is on behalf of:

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Find the code on GitHub

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