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Roman portraiture and biometric identification

Schofield, Damian; Lorenz, Katharina; Davy-Jow, Stephanie; Anderson, Matthew


Damian Schofield

Katharina Lorenz

Stephanie Davy-Jow

Matthew Anderson


This project utilised three-dimensional scanning technology in the study of ancient Roman art and archaeology: Roman representations of faces executed in marble.

In the cultural heritage sector, three-dimensional (3D) scanning finds its primary application in documenting and reconstructing objects and structures mostly of simple geometry: bones, pottery, architecture or the imprint of whole archaeological sites (Adolf 2011). In forensic science, the face is interesting from investigative and probative perspectives, including both recognition and identification. Biometric methods of facial recognition have been part of a plethora of computer science-based applications used in the verification of identity (Davy et al. 2005, Goodwin, Evison and Schofield 2010).

The aim of this initial project is to provide objective relevant measurements of key facial features from the two ancient Roman portrait statue three-dimensional scans, which will allow the delineation of relationships between individual portraits including formal and stylistics aspects. The work described in this paper proposal is truly multidisciplinary, it touches on many fields including : Classical archaeologies (specifically ancient art history in the period of the Roman Empire 31BC - AD400), Forensic Anthropology (specifically physical anthropology and human osteology, Facial Biometrics (specifically uniquely recognising humans based upon their intrinsic physical traits and features) and Computer Science and Statistics (specifically the analysis of large complex multi-dimensional data sets).

Publication Date Jan 1, 2012
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Schofield, D., Lorenz, K., Davy-Jow, S., & Anderson, M. (2012). Roman portraiture and biometric identification
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Additional Information Schofield, D., Lorenz, K. Davy-Jow, S. Anderson, M., Roman portraiture and biometric identification, in: EVA London 2012: Electronic visualisation and the arts: proceedings, editors, Stuart Dunn, Jonathan P. Bowen, Kia Ng. Swindon: British Computer Society, 2012. ISBN: 9781780171593, pp. 163-171. First published in the Electronic Workshops in Computing series at:


ewic_ev12_s7paper3-libre.pdf (495 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

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