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Thin section of glazed ceramic from Imperial-quality Song Dynasty Ru sherd (Qingliangsi, Baofeng County, Henan Province, China). Center: Original thin section; Bottom: Region of interest drawn to exclude glaze for measurement of particles (3.3 % fine sand .063.2 mm, no grains of sand above .2mm, and 8 percent silt-sized particles < .063 mm); Top: Negative image used to highlight pores for measurement, 2.1 %.
Thin-section petrography is a crucial tool for the study of archaeological ceramics, and in recent years image analysis has emerged as a powerful enhancement of that tool. The Laboratory conducted experimental work testing the consistency and reproducibility of image analysis. We designed protocols for fast and reliable analysis of thin sections, by first using laboratory-prepared ceramic specimens of simple clay-sand systems. We then showed how those procedures could be slightly modified to accommodate more complex archaeological specimens. Finally, we began to incorporate image analysis as a routine part of thin-section petrography to enhance qualitative and quantitative data collection.
Funding: National Science Foundation grant #1005992
Participants: Chandra L. Reedy, Jenifer Anderson, Yimeng Liu, Terry J. Reedy
(1) Reedy et al., 2014. Image Analysis in Quantitative Particle Studies of Archaeological Ceramic Thin Sections. Advances in Archaeological Practice 2(4): 252-68.
(2) Reedy et al., 2014. Quantitative Porosity Studies of Archaeological Ceramics by Petrographic Image Analysis. Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology X, ed. by P. B. Vandiver, W. Li, C. Maines and P. Sciau. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Vol. 1656. Doi#10.1557/opl.2014.711.
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