Lithics3D: An R Package for Lithic Analysis

Author(s): Cornel Pop

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

An increasing number of studies are demonstrating the advantages and potential of 3D data acquisition and analysis techniques for documenting and understanding drivers of morphological variability in lithic assemblages. Applications of 3D geometric morphometrics, for instance, are challenging and refining traditional classifications and promise to open new windows into artifact life histories. More broadly, 3D scans document the full geometry of artifacts and allow for potentially automated (and hence fully replicable) quantification of important aspects of variability that have heretofore been impractical or impossible to measure or document manually with meaningful precision and/or low inter-observer error. Notwithstanding the advantages of 3D techniques, however, they come at the cost of substantially increased complexity and added expense, and there is a distinct lack of publicly available software designed specifically to work with 3D lithic data, limiting applications. This presentation introduces Lithics3D, an open-source R package for automatic and semi-automatic processing and analysis of 3D lithic scans, highlighting its potential applications and future development directions. The package is the result of an ongoing effort that has already been successfully applied in a series of publications. The main high-level features include automatic surface segmentation, artifact orientation, edge angle measurements, thickness mapping, and more.

Cite this Record

Lithics3D: An R Package for Lithic Analysis. Cornel Pop. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449447)

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Abstract Id(s): 25711