The Metrological Tool Box

The analyse of a sample composed by data with a metrological structure can be an issue. At the difference of what we generally expect with archaeological data, the elements will not follow a simple normal distribution but a sequence made by several normal distributions corresponding to the metrological unit, its fractions and its multiples.

Usually, archaeologists can face this issue when they want to determine if a sample of data can be considered as metrologically built or when they want to identify the unit – or units – which structure the data.

Even if there are tools dedicated to these kind of approaches – as the Cosine Quantogram Analysis, or so-called Kendall test – , they are badly known by most of the historians and archaeologists excepting some specialists of the metrological issues. For this reason, the studies dealing with ancients measures – mass, volume or length – are based on various work protocols, in particular with regard of Late Prehistory studies in Western Europe.

In the framework of my PhD thesis (Poigt 2022), I developed a specific tool allowing to process three different metrological analysis with a simple Excel file upgraded by macros : the Metrological Tool Box (MetroTB). I release here the last version (2.5) of this “software” along with tutorial dedicated to each type of analysis. However, I consider that the best use of this tool is obtained by combining the three analysis together.

Avaiable by sending the contact form

General presentation and tutorial Division Table
Tutorial Cosine Quantogram Analysis
Tutorial Frequency Distribution Analysis

In order to go further in the methods dedicated to metrological analysis, I join a non-exhaustive bibliography.

Ialongo, N., 2018. The Earliest Balance Weights in the West: Towards an Independent Metrology for Bronze Age Europe. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 29, 103–124. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959774318000392

Ialongo, N., Vacca, A., Peyronel, L., 2018. Breaking down the bullion. The compliance of bullion-currencies with official weight-systems in a case-study from the ancient Near East. Journal of Archaeological Science 91, 20–32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2018.01.002

Kendall, D.G., 1974. Hunting quanta. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Mathematical and Physical Sciences. 276, 231–266.

Pakkanen, J., 2002. Deriving ancient foot units from building dimensions: a statistical approach employing cosine quantogram analysis, in: Burenhult, G., Arvidsson, J. (Eds.), Archaeological Informatics: Pushing the Envelope, BAR International Series 1016. Presented at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology. Proceedings of the 29th Conference, Gotland, April 2001, pp. 501–506.

Pakkanen, J., 2011. Aegean Bronze Age Weights, chaînes Opératoires and the Detecting of Patterns through Statistical Analyses, in: Brysbaert, A. (Ed.), Tracing Social Networks through Studying Technologies: A Diachronical Perspective from the Aegean. Londres, New York, pp. 143–166.

Pare, C., 1999. Weights and Weighing in Bronze Age Central Europe. Presented at the Eliten in der Bronzezeit, Mainz, pp. 421–514.

Petruso, K., 1992. Ayia Irini: the balance weights, KEOS. Mainz.

Petruso, K.M., 2018. Quantum Analysis, in: López Varela, S.L. (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA, pp. 1–3. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119188230.saseas0484 Petruso, K.M., 1978. Systems of Weight in the Bronze Age Aegean (thèse de doctorat). Indiana University.

Norms, Standards, Routines : production and information during Late Prehistory in Europe and the Mediterranean

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