Geometric Morphometrics for Provenance Determination of Gallo-Roman White Clay Figurines

Hundreds of Gallo-Roman white clay figurines coming from the center of France and available in the French museums have been digitized by the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France using threedimensional surface scanner technologies. Shapes of the statuettes differ according to many parameters, they may vary according to the sites of origin, the author of the works and they might reflect local influences of the workshops from which they originate. In this paper, we describe methods used to quantify and compare the shapes of the figurines and interpret results obtained by using such methods on a set of three-dimensional virtual objects. we show the results of these methods applied to a set of three dimensional virtual objects based on homologous points (landmarks) systematically defined and placed on the virtual models of mother goddess and Venus figurines. We use geometric morphometrics, including essentially generalized Procrustes analysis, to measure and display the differences in shapes and characterize the provenance of the Gallo-Roman figurines. Various analyses including chemical methods have been already carried out to determine the provenance of the statuettes and provide a basis for the comparison of our results. According to the results of the statistical analysis we assess the advantages and limitations of geometric morphometrics for the characterization of the provenance of the white clay figurines. Finally, from a broader perspective, we comment the interpretation of morphometrical analyses applied to archaeological objects.

, booktitle = {
VAST: International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Intelligent Cultural Heritage
}, editor = {
Alessandro Artusi and Morwena Joly and Genevieve Lucet and Denis Pitzalis and Alejandro Ribes
}, title = {{
Geometric Morphometrics for Provenance Determination of Gallo-Roman White Clay Figurines
}}, author = {
Bourdeu, Alexandre
Pitzalis, Denis
}, year = {
}, publisher = {
The Eurographics Association
}, ISSN = {
}, ISBN = {
}, DOI = {
} }