Measuring Usewear on Black Gloss Pottery from Rome through 3D Surface Analysis

Laura M. Banducci1, Rachel Opitz2 and Marcello Mogetta3

1. Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, Canada, K1S 5B6. Email:
2. University of Glasgow, Gregory Building, Lilybank Gardens Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK. Email:
3. University of Missouri, 507 South 9th Street, Columbia, MO 65211. Email:

Cite this as: Banducci, L.M., Opitz, R. and Mogetta, M. 2018 Measuring Usewear on Black Gloss Pottery from Rome through 3D Surface Analysis, Internet Archaeology 50.


Still image of 3D model of a representative vessel (Capitoline Museums catalog ID AntCom8626). (Image credit: © Damien Vurpillot/Rachel Opitz. CC BY-NC)

This project involves the high-resolution 3D laser scanning of a cache of Italian black gloss pottery from the Capitoline Museums in Rome. Our aim is to examine in detail the minute traces of production and use of these vessels and to produce a digital record of their form. We have experimented with several scanning devices in order to determine the optimal methods for capturing abrasions on pottery and are developing digital methods for surface analysis. The purpose of the analysis is to consider how black gloss vessels from ritual contexts (tomb and sanctuary deposits) may have been used before they were deposited and to refine our understanding of vessel production methods.

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