Advertisement

Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 651–662 | Cite as

New applications of 3D modeling in artefact analysis: three case studies of Viking Age brooches

  • Michael Neiß
  • Sabrina B. Sholts
  • Sebastian K. T. S. WärmländerEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) laser scanning is a nondestructive and versatile technique that provides archaeologists with 3D models of archaeological and ethnographic objects. We have previously shown that 3D models facilitate shape analysis of archaeological bones and stone tools, due to the high measurement accuracy inherent in the latest generation of 3D laser scanners. Here, we explore the utility of 3D modeling as a tool for analyzing Viking Age metal artefacts with complex morphologies. Four highly ornate Viking Age brooches from Scandinavia and Russia were digitized with a portable laser scanner, and the resulting 3D models were used in three case studies of (a) artefact reconstruction, (b) tool mark analysis, and (c) motif documentation. The results revealed both strengths and limitations of the employed techniques. 3D modeling proved to be very well suited for artefact reconstruction and was helpful also in the stylistic and motif analysis. The tool mark analysis was only partially successful, due to the resolution limits of the laser scanner used. 3D-based motif analysis of a grandiose Scandinavian-style brooch from Yelets, Russia, identified an anthropomorphic figure with a bird-like body that previously has been overlooked. This figure may be a Rurikid coat of arms, possibly linking the object to a princely household and providing further evidence for a connection between Scandinavia and the Rurikids. As 3D technology keeps improving, we expect that additional applications for 3D modeling in archaeology will be developed, likely leading to many new findings when old objects are re-analyzed with modern techniques. However, our results indicate that 3D modeling cannot completely replace traditional artefact analysis—instead, we argue that the two approaches are best used in combination.

Keywords

3D laser scanner Archaeometry Artefact autopsy Digital reconstruction Scandinavian studies 

Abbreviations

NM

The National Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark

GE

The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

SHM

The Swedish Historical Museum, Stockholm, Sweden

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Rafael Minasyan and Ekatarina Arnoldovna Shablavina at the Hermitage State Museum in St. Petersburg; Jytte Høstmark, Poul Otto Nielsen, Helga Schütze, Lars Jørgensen, and Peter Vang Petersen at the National Museum in Copenhagen; and Lotta Fernstål, Charlotte Hedenstierna Jonson, and Inga Ullén at the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm for their help in studying the original brooches. Natalia Eniosova at Moscow University and Vasily V. Novikov at the Gardarika Historical and Archaeological Centre generously provided information regarding the Gnëzdovo hoard. Ole Thirup Kastholm at Roskilde Museum and Maria Panum Baastrup at the National Museum in Copenhagen equally generously provided information on the Vestervang brooch. Eva Hjärthner-Holdar and Yang Sook Koh at the National Heritage Board of Sweden kindly shared their metallurgical expertise with us. The project was financially supported by The Helge Ax:son Johnson Foundation, The Swedish Institute, Svenska fornminnesföreningen, and The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities.

Supplementary material

12520_2014_200_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (2.2 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 2.18 MB)

References

  1. Aagård GB (1984) Gleicharmige Spangen. In: Arwidsson G (ed) Birka II:1. Untersuchungen und Studien. Systematische Analysen der Gräberfunde. Almqvist & Wiksell, Stockholm, pp 95–110Google Scholar
  2. Andersson K (1995) Romartida guldsmide i Norden III. Uppsala universitet, UppsalaGoogle Scholar
  3. Arbman H (1960) Skandinavisches Handwerk in Rußland zur Wikingerzeit. In: Meddelanden från Lunds universitets historiska museum 1959. pp 110-135Google Scholar
  4. Bjeletskij SV (1998) О лично-родовых знаках князей-Рюриковичей X-XI вв. In: Общество, экономика, культура и искусство славян: pp 195-205Google Scholar
  5. Capelle T (1962) Eine barocke Silberspange aus Birka. Acta Archaeol 33:100–107Google Scholar
  6. Dellepiane M (2009) Uses of uncalibrated images to enrich 3D models information. Ph.D. dissertation, Scuola di Dottorato in Ingegneria “Leonardo da Vinci”. Corso di Dottorato di Ricerca in Ingegneria dell’Informazione. Tesi di Dottorato di Ricerca. Università di Pisa, Pisa. http://diglib.eg.org/EG/DL/dissonline/doc/dellepiane.pdf
  7. Duczko W (2004) Viking Rus: studies on the presence of Scandinavians in Eastern Europe. Brill, BostonGoogle Scholar
  8. Edberg R (2001) Jaroslav den vise och Djingis Khan. META 3:3–18Google Scholar
  9. Eniosova N, Mitoyan R (2011) Arabic coins as a silver source for Slavonic and Scandinavian jewellers in the tenth century AD. I. In: Turbanti-Memmi I (ed) Proceedings of the 37th International Symposium on Archaeometry. 13th–16th May 2008, Siena, Italy. Springer, Berlin, pp 579–584Google Scholar
  10. Gingerich JAM, Sholts SB, Wärmländer SKTS, Stanford D (2014) Fluted point manufacture in eastern North America: an assessment of form and technology using traditional metrics and 3D digital morphometrics. World Arch 46(1):101–122. doi: 10.1080/00438243.2014.892437
  11. Hayeur Smith M (2004) Draupnir’s sweat and Mardöll’s tears: an archaeology of jewellery, gender and identity in Viking Age Iceland. Hedges, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  12. Hermon S (2008) Reasoning in 3D: a critical appraisal of the role of 3D modelling and virtual reconstructions in archaeology. In: Frischer B, Dakouri Hild A (eds) Beyond illustration: 2D and 3D digital technologies as tools for discovery in archaeology, BAR International series 1805. Archaeopress, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  13. Jansson I (1984) Große Rundspangen. In: Arwidsson G (ed) Birka II:I: Untersuchungen und Studien: systematische Analysen der Gräberfunde. Almqvist & Wiksell, Stockholm, pp 75–84Google Scholar
  14. Jolshin DD (2012) Княжеские знаки Владимира на кирпичах Десятинной церкви в Киеве 24-29Google Scholar
  15. Kershaw JF (2009) Culture and gender in the Danelaw: Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian brooches. Viking Mediev Scand 5:295–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kleingärtner S (2007) Der Pressmodelfund aus dem Hafen von Haithabu. Wachholtz, NeumünsterGoogle Scholar
  17. Klindt-Jensen O, Wilson D (1965) Vikingetidens kunst. Nationalmuseet, KøbenhavnGoogle Scholar
  18. Neiß M (2005) Spekulationer kring ett vikingatida “barockspänne” från Ryssland. Fristående uppsats inom kursen Birka-Bagdad-Bysans. Instutionen för arkeologi, Stockholms universitet, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  19. Neiß M (2007) Några vikingatida praktsmyckens motivkanon: Kontinuitetsfrågor i germansk djurornamentik 3. Viking: norsk arkeologisk årbok 69:131–168Google Scholar
  20. Neiß M (2009) Fixeringsbilder inom en vikingatida praktspänneserie. Aarbøger for Nordisk Oldkyndighed og Historie 2006:91–132Google Scholar
  21. Neiß M (2010) A matter of standards: iconography as a quality indicator for Viking age brooches Lund Archaeol Rev 15-16, 2009-2010: pp 127-148Google Scholar
  22. Neiß M (2011) Vexierbilder von Vestervan. Versuch einer methodischen Motividentifikation für wikingerzeitliche Kleinkunst. In: Boye L, Heidemann L, Kleingärtner S, Kruse P, Matthes L, Sørensen AB (eds) Arkæologi i Slesvig/Archäologie in Schleswig., vol Det 61. Internationale Sachsensymposion 2010, Haderslev, Danmark. Wachholtz, Neumünster, pp 57-75Google Scholar
  23. Neiß M (2012) Fixeringsbilder från Vestervan - Försök till en metodisk motividentifiering för vikingatida djurornamentik. ROMU 2011: Årsskrift fra Roskilde Museum: pp 35-69Google Scholar
  24. Neiß M, Wärmländer SKTS, Sholts SB (2012) 3D-skanning som verktyg vid vikingatidsstudier – Rekonstruktion och analys av fyra barockspännen. Viking: norsk arkeologisk årbok 75:145–180Google Scholar
  25. Paulsen P (1953) Schwertortbänder der Wikingerzeit: ein Beitrag zur Frühgeschichte Osteuropas. Kohlhammer, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  26. Petaros A, Sholts SB, Šlaus M, Čavka M, Wärmländer SKTS (n.d.) Sexual dimorphism in human frontal inclination angles measured from digital 3D models and 2D photographs of dry crania. Int J Legal Med. Accepted manuscriptGoogle Scholar
  27. Puškina TA (1998) Первые Гнездовские клады: история открытия и состав. In: Историческая археология. Традиции и перспективы М: pp 370-377Google Scholar
  28. Scott DA (2002) Copper and bronze in art: corrosion, colorants, conservation. Getty Conservation Institute, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  29. Shearer BM, Sholts SB, Garvin HM, Wärmländer SKTS (2012) Sexual dimorphism in human browridge volume measured from 3D models of dry crania: a new digital morphometrics approach. Forensic Sci Int 222(1):400.e1–400.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2012.06.013 Google Scholar
  30. Sholts SB, Wärmländer SKTS (2012) Zygomaticomaxillary suture shape analyzed with digital morphometrics: reassessing patterns of variation in American Indian and European populations. Forensic Sci Int 217(1-3):234.e231–234.e236. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2011.11.016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sholts SB, Wärmländer SKTS, Flores L, Miller K, Walker PL (2010) Variation in the measurement of cranial volume and surface area using 3D laser scanning technology. J Forensic Sci 55(4):871–876. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2010.01380.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sholts SB, Flores L, Walker PL, Wärmländer SKTS (2011a) Comparison of coordinate measurement precision of different landmark types on human crania using a 3D laser scanning and a 3D digitizer: implications for applications of digital morphometrics. Int J Osteoarchaeol 21(5):535–543. doi: 10.1002/oa.1156 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sholts SB, Walker PL, Kuzminsky SC, Miller KWP, Wärmländer SKTS (2011b) Identification of group affinity from cross-sectional contours of the human midfacial skeleton using digital morphometrics and 3D laser scanning technology. J Forensic Sci 56(2):333–338. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01701.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sholts SB, Stanford DJ, Flores LM, Wärmländer SKTS (2012) Flake scar patterns of Clovis points analyzed with a new digital morphometrics approach: evidence for direct transmission of technological knowledge across early North America. J Archaeol Sci 39(9):3018–3026. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2012.04.049 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sotnikova MP, Spasskij IG (1982) Russian coins of the X-XI centuries AD. Recent research and a corpus in commemoration of the millenary of the earliest Russian coinage. BAR International series 136, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  36. Stenberger M (1959) Ringnålen från Gorodilov. Tor 5:192–199Google Scholar
  37. Thirup Kastholm O (2009) Gårde fra yngre germansk jernalder og vikingetid ved Vestervang. ROMU: Årsskrift fra Roskilde Museum 2008:19–44Google Scholar
  38. Thunmark L (1974) Stämplar på gotländskt vikingasilver. Gotländsk Arkiv 46:15–34Google Scholar
  39. Thunmark-Nylén L (1998) Die Wikingerzeit Gotlands II: Typentafeln. Vitterhets historie och antikvitets akademien, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  40. Thunmark-Nylén L (2006) Die Wikingerzeit Gotlands III: Text. Vitterhets historie och antikvitets akademien, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  41. Wachowiak MJ, Vicky Karas B (2009) 3D scanning and replication for museum and cultural heritage applications. J Am Inst Conserv 48(2):141–158. doi: 10.1179/019713609804516992 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wärmländer SKTS, Zori D, Byock J, Scott DA (2010) Metallurgical findings from a Viking Age chieftain’s farm in Iceland. J Archaeol Sci 37(9):2284–2290. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2010.04.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wiechmann R (2001) Mark. Numismatisches. In: Müller R (ed) Reallexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde XIX. De Gruyter, Berlin, pp 180–181Google Scholar
  44. Wolters J (2006a) Versilbern. In: Müller R (ed) Reallexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde XXXII. De Gruyter, Berlin, pp 240–255Google Scholar
  45. Wolters J (2006b) Verzinnen. In: Müller R (ed) Reallexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde XXXII. De Gruyter, Berlin, pp 283–292Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Neiß
    • 1
  • Sabrina B. Sholts
    • 2
  • Sebastian K. T. S. Wärmländer
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Archaeology and Ancient HistoryUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyNational Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian InstitutionWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Division of BiophysicsStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  4. 4.Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA/Getty Conservation ProgramUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations