Trinkl, Elisabeth (hg.): Interdisziplinäre Dokumentations- und Visualisierungsmethoden. Corpus vasorum antiquorum. Österreich, Beiheft 1. 212 p., ISBN 9783700171454, € 69.00
(Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (ÖAW), Wien 2013)
Compte rendu par Ilona Skupinska-Lovset, University of Lodz

Nombre de mots : 1241 mots
Publié en ligne le 2015-05-29
Citation: Histara les comptes rendus (ISSN 2100-0700).
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          New methods of documentation and popularisation of scientific results for the broader public introduced visualisation as the most efficient way to present archaeological discoveries. The ethical questions of misleading presentation which can be considered as almost manipulative of the non professional and therefore less critical public were brought forwards and discussed broadly in this connection (Cf. book by Joyce Wittur,  Computer-generated 3D - Visualisations in Archaeology. Between added value and deception, BAR International Series 2463, 2013). These precautions do not apply in the case of the reviewed publication as it is addressed principally to the scholars and researchers, acquainted with the constantly broadening spectrum of scientific methods facilitating documentation on the production and usage of ancient pottery. Additionally, the long lasting interest in cataloguing “Greek vases” (The Beazley archive and Corpus Vasorum Antiqorum) made scholars and readers of their publications used to a specific way of pottery presentation. On the other hand, the rush development of sciences opened new possibilities to extend knowledge in a way not studied before and have a  wider insight in the art of pottery painting in classical antiquity. The reviewed book shows the way to carry through such program.


          The book is principally directed towards educated readers. It presents 8 articles by 19 authors, each discussing the use of these new ways of documentation in a museum environment. The publication is the first one of a series started in the year 2009 under the name “Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum Österreich - Beihefte”. The present first volume includes articles written in German and English. It starts with a presentation by Thomas Mannack and Greg Parker of the first archaeological database, the Beazley archive, which has operated free of charge since the year 1998. Next step intended is the project of digitalisation of Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum.

          The chapter entitled “Acquisition and Documentation of Vessels using High-Resolution Scanners “ (methodologies using data from close-range 3D-scanners) is written by Hubert Mara and Julia Portl. A 3D scanner consists of one or more digital cameras, the illumination of the vessel studied should be set in a way as to avoid shadows. The process of producing a three dimensional image is rather complicated but the vase treated in this way will seem more natural on the picture, true-to-scale, decoration will be clearly visible, inner volume could be estimated as well as other data.


          The false bottom, inner compartments and similar can be detected with the help of x-ray. How to detect traces after “ancient or museum renovations” on the surface of a vessel, restauration of its body, or restauration of its decoration by means of non invasive methods is presented by Bettina Vak under the title “Auf der Suche nach dem Orignal”. In the same article the author documents the presence of a drawing under the decoration on an Attic black-figure amphora. This case is an example of the possibilities of new technologies for documentation. The usability of ultraviolet fluorescence (UV), infrared-spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence (RFA) is further discussed and illustrated by photographs of case studies.

          Similarly,  Stephan Karl, Daniel Jungblut, Jordis Rosc with contribution from Rudolf Erlach, in  the article entitled “Non-contact and Non-invasive Investigation of Ancient Ceramics Using Industrial X-ray Computer Tomography”, by investigating chosen pottery in the collection of the University Joanneum in Graz using Industrial X-ray Computer Tomography and also a Surface Reconstructing Method (SRM), could visualize pottery in a way  allowing the information about fabric, techniques of production and decoration to be obtained without scratching the vessel.

          Robert Fuerhacker and Stephan Karl in the article “The Documentation of Historic Restorations of Ancient Pottery. A Case Study of Two Vessels from the Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz  with special Emphasis on Industrial Computer Tomography” studied a “bucchero pesante” vessel, which is shown to be two fragments glued together, one original, the other modern; a column crater rendered in Volterra style is shown to be almost completely over-painted.

          An interesting case is described by Maria Christidis in her article “ A Guttus from the Original Collection of the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Graz.  Applications of Scientific Research”. A black glazed guttus on which some inconsistencies as to shape and surface were noticed, was subjected to study by the use of X-rays and computer tomography (CT). The investigations showed the existence, in certain places, of a non ceramic  leveling material, which was overpainted;  secondarily, various fragments of this vessel showed varying density of the material used, which was noted by CT analysis. Such results were interpreted as an indication of a separate production of various parts of the vessel: the base, the handle, the spout, the medallion. These parts were mounted afterwards, the medallion at the end.

          Finally in the book the results obtained by the method of “Color spectrum analysis” were presented by Paul Kammerer, Franz Mairinger, Elisabeth Trinkl and Ernestine Zolda. In the title of the report it is said that the study had a preliminary character. The goal was to indicate the value of original pigments, which were different from the ones used today.


          The book as a whole is very useful as the presentation of the process of the introduction of industrial and medical methods in analysis of ancient and historical material. Its introduction in fieldwork as well as in the museums soon will become a common reality. These methods, applied to a pottery, register original raw materials used, decoration, all kinds of reparations, renovations, all changes in profile and the walls themselves.


          The possibilities of the usage of medical and industrial methods in the reconstruction of the lost past appear multiple, one can imagine more cases than presented in the reviewed book. The illustrative material presented in the book is abundant, instructive and of very good quality. It remains to congratulate the authors and the authorities for the wise decision to continue the project and the publication of the “Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum Osterreich. Beiheft Series”. The first volume demonstrated clearly how important is  the “power of expression” of the well-presented illustration material. The only thing that the reviewer might consider as missing is a  scale placed with the pottery presented in order to facilitate orientation as to the size of its parts.






Titelei page 1

Inhalt page 5


Andreas Pülz 
Vorwort page 7


Elisabeth Trinkl 
Zum Geleit page 9


Elisabeth Trinkl 
Abgekürzte Literatur, Abkürzungen, Verzeichnis der Autoren page 11


Thomas Mannack - Greg Parker 
Das elektronische CVA – Stand 2010 page 17


Hubert Mara - Julia Portl 
Acquisition and Documentation of Vessels using High-Resolution 3D-Scanners page 25


Bettina Vak 
Auf der Suche nach dem Original. Anwendungen und Illustrationen naturwissenschaftlicher Diagnostik an attisch figürlich bemalter Keramik aus der Antikensammlung des Kunsthistorischen Museums page 41


Stephan Karl - Daniel Jungblut - Jördis Rosc - Rudolf Erlach 
Berührungsfreie und nicht invasive Untersuchung antiker Keramik mittels industrieller Röntgen- Computertomografie page 73


Robert Fürhacker - Stephan Karl 
Die Dokumentation historischer Restaurierungen antiker Keramik am Beispiel zweier Gefäße aus dem Universalmuseum Joanneum unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der industriellen Computertomografie page 115


Maria Christidis 
Ein Guttus aus der Originalsammlung des Instituts für Archäologie der Universität Graz. Anwendungen naturwissenschaftlicher Untersuchungen page 161


Leonid Dimitrov - Milos Šrámek - Emanuel Wenger - Claudia Lang-Auinger - Elisabeth Trinkl 
Pilotstudie zur Visualisierung und Untersuchung von antiken Vasen page 171


Paul Kammerer - Franz Mairinger - Elisabeth Trinkl - Ernestine Zolda 
Reflexionsmessungen an attischen Gefäßen klassischer Zeit – eine Vorstudie page 177


Elisabeth Trinkl 
Zusammenfassung / Summaries page 209