Morphometrics for archaeologists


  • Place: ARTEHIS, University of Burgundy, Dijon, France
  • Language: French
  • Semesters: 2014-2015; 2015-2016; 2016-2017
  • Open to: Master 2 Archaeology (AGES)


The goal of the course is to learn how to express and quantitaively treat shape information of archaeological artefacts. At the end of this course students should be able to choose the proper method for a given question and proceed autonomously from data collection, preparation, standardisation to shape variables calculation.
Esential part of the course will be then dedicated to the application of inferential and multidimensional statistics (PCA, DA) of shape data.



  • 1. The basic morphometrical terminology.
  • 2. Data collection (2D/3D data acquisition).
  • 3. Data preparation (Bookstein registration, Procrustes methods, Regression methods, Fourier methods).
  • 4. Morphometrical data treatement (Principal Component Analysis, Discriminant Analysis).
  • 5. Morphometrics application in archaeology (Morphospace creation, classification, groups comparison, prediction, …).
  • 6. Case studies (Unsupervised models for classification of Archaeological artefacts)
  • 7. Practical excercices (PCA, DA).


 Session 1

  • Presentation  pdf
  • Excercice – Principal Component Analysis (PCA) in R  pdf

Session 2

  • Presentation  pdf
  • Excercice – Discriminant Analysis (DA) in R  pdf

Session 3-4

  • Excercise – Procrustes Analysis in R  pdf
  • Dataset and materials  zip_file

Session 5

  • Exams


  • Claude, J. 2008: Morphometrics with R. Springer.icone_book.jpg
  • Bookstein, F.L. 1991: Morphometric tools for landmark data: Geometry and Biology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Elwa, A.M.T. 2004: Morphometrics – Applications in Biology and Paleontology. Springer.
  • Elwa, A.M.T. 2004: Morphometrics for Nonmorphometricians. Springer.
  • Lestrel, P.E. 1997: Fourier descriptors and their applications in biology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Zelditch, M., Swiderski, D.L., Sheets, H.D. 2004: Geometric morphometrics for biologists. Elsevier.