A re-evaluation of the concept of type in coroplastic studies based on 3D shape analysis of terracotta figurines from Ayia Irini, Cyprus

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A re-evaluation of the concept of type in coroplastic studies based on 3D shape analysis of terracotta figurines from Ayia Irini, Cyprus. / Vassallo, Valentina; Hermon, Sorin; Scalas, Andreas; Mortara, Michela ; Spagnuolo, Michela.

2019. 212 Abstract from CAA 2019, Kraków, Poland.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

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Vassallo, Valentina ; Hermon, Sorin ; Scalas, Andreas ; Mortara, Michela ; Spagnuolo, Michela. / A re-evaluation of the concept of type in coroplastic studies based on 3D shape analysis of terracotta figurines from Ayia Irini, Cyprus. Abstract from CAA 2019, Kraków, Poland.1 p.

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TY - CONF

T1 - A re-evaluation of the concept of type in coroplastic studies based on 3D shape analysis of terracotta figurines from Ayia Irini, Cyprus

AU - Vassallo, Valentina

AU - Hermon, Sorin

AU - Scalas, Andreas

AU - Mortara, Michela

AU - Spagnuolo, Michela

N1 - Conference code: 47

PY - 2019/4

Y1 - 2019/4

N2 - Coroplastic studies refer to the study of terracotta figurines mostly through an art history ap-proach, where types and classes are defined through stylistic and aesthetic considerations. Such an approach is highly subjective and is based on the knowledge of the researcher interacting with the subject material. Moreover, the lack of agreed upon criteria for classification and the lack of quantitative attributes that would define one or another type make any comparative research a futile exercise. The problem becomes even more severe when the objects under investigation are dispersed in various museums in different countries and their initial description has been performed several decades ago within the traditional framework described above. The aim of this research is to propose an alternative method for the investigation of terracotta figurines, but which can be extended to other types of material culture as well, based on the identification and analysis of a set of features objectively describing the objects under investigation. Such features are based on descriptors meaningful for the characterization of the objects’ shape, their mode of manufacture and techniques of production and which derive from a 3D geometry analysis and surface characterization. Some of these descriptors are: straightness, circularity, thickness, eccentricity, multiple transversal slices, etc. semi-automatically extracted from the 3D model. The case study consists of a sample of terracotta figurines from Ayia Irini, Cyprus. They are part of a larger assemblage of ca. 2000 statues with various shapes and sizes, excavated at the beginning of the 20th century.

AB - Coroplastic studies refer to the study of terracotta figurines mostly through an art history ap-proach, where types and classes are defined through stylistic and aesthetic considerations. Such an approach is highly subjective and is based on the knowledge of the researcher interacting with the subject material. Moreover, the lack of agreed upon criteria for classification and the lack of quantitative attributes that would define one or another type make any comparative research a futile exercise. The problem becomes even more severe when the objects under investigation are dispersed in various museums in different countries and their initial description has been performed several decades ago within the traditional framework described above. The aim of this research is to propose an alternative method for the investigation of terracotta figurines, but which can be extended to other types of material culture as well, based on the identification and analysis of a set of features objectively describing the objects under investigation. Such features are based on descriptors meaningful for the characterization of the objects’ shape, their mode of manufacture and techniques of production and which derive from a 3D geometry analysis and surface characterization. Some of these descriptors are: straightness, circularity, thickness, eccentricity, multiple transversal slices, etc. semi-automatically extracted from the 3D model. The case study consists of a sample of terracotta figurines from Ayia Irini, Cyprus. They are part of a larger assemblage of ca. 2000 statues with various shapes and sizes, excavated at the beginning of the 20th century.

M3 - Abstract

SP - 212

T2 - CAA 2019

Y2 - 23 April 2019 through 27 April 2019

ER -