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This tutorial runs on the Ren'Py visual novel engine, and can be accessed by Windows, Mac, or Linux machines. Funded by NCPTT (National Center for Preservation Technology and Training), it is free to download and use.
The tutorial includes 11 modules:
1. Petrographic Thin Sections
2. Plane Polarized Light
3. Crossed Polarized Light
4. Identifying Common Rock-Forming Minerals
5. Igneous Stone Materials
6. Sedimentary Stone Materials
7. Metamorphic Stone Materials
8. Low-Fired Pottery
9. High-Fired Pottery
10. Identifying Pottery Fabrication Methods
11. Other Ceramic and Clay Materials
To access, download one of the compressed files below, uncompress it, and after checking
the "Read-me" file, click on the "ThinSection application" file and start. We hope
you find the tutorial useful.
Windows zip file | Mac zip file | Linux tar.bze file
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Thin-section petrography is used to characterize and interpret stone and ceramic cultural materials. Information is obtained regarding choices in raw materials, possible location of material sources, fabrication methods, firing conditions, decorative techniques, possible functions of the object, technological style of the craftsperson or workshop, state of deterioration and possible deterioration mechanisms, and results of testing various preservation approaches. The Laboratory for Analysis of Cultural Materials specializes in working with contemporary methods of digital image analysis to produce quantitative data and enhanced qualitative data from thin-section petrography.
The book, Thin-Section Petrography of Stone and Ceramic Cultural Materials by Chandra L. Reedy, 2008, is available from Archetype Publications, London or
The CD-ROM images and didactic material are freely available through the link below:
Images from the accompanying CD-ROM