In this study, the shape of socketed bronze arrowheads is analysed and expressed as a series of mathematical trends which are then compared to chemical and lead isotope composition, as well as to the categorization of traditional non-computerized typology. It is shown that while traditional typology has statistical validation, additional important information can be gleaned from 3-D geometric morphometric shape analysis (3DGM), particularly when combined with material analyses. For example, arrowheads that are traditionally categorized as a single type demonstrate minute shape differences that correlate with the sites where they were found. This micro-variability, detected only through 3DGM, has potential cultural, chronological and regional implications. Most importantly, this pilot study shows that chemical and isotopic composition is correlated to a specific shape trend, revealed through computerized analysis, rather than to the traditional typological classification. This opens up new vistas for a more advanced analysis of archaeological finds.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank Leore Grosman and Ortal Harush from the Computational Archaeology Laboratory at the Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for producing the 3D scans. We would also like to thank Igor Kreimerman, Debi Sandhaus and Alla Rabinovich who provided data regarding the material from Khirbet Qeiyafa, and Leora Freund for providing contextual data for the arrowheads from Azekah and Ramat Raḥel. Aurelia Masson-Berghoff from the British Museum kindly discussed the material from Naukratis. Svetlana Matskevich prepared the illustrations. The work was made possible with the kind assistance of the Lady Davis Fellowship Trust.
- Geometric morphometric shape analysis
- Socketed bronze arrowheads