The Shape of Things to Come—Using Geometric and Morphometric Analyses to Identify Archaeological Starch Grains

  • Adelle C. F. CosterEmail author
  • Judith H. Field
Conference paper
Part of the Mathematics for Industry book series (MFI, volume 28)


Starch grains are tell-tale characteristics of plants that can remain long after the decomposition of the rest of the material. The understanding of historical plant use, for sustenance and plant-based medicines, as well as agricultural practices is enhanced by the identification of residual starch remains. Classifications, however, have previously relied on expert identification using largely subjective features. This can be enormously time consuming and subject to bias. A method has been developed to construct robust classifiers for starch grains of unknown origin based on their geometrical and morphometric features. It was established to allow insight into plant food use from archaeological remains but could be used in many different contexts.


Mathematics-for-Industry Starch grains Identification Geometric analysis Morphometric analysis 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mathematics and StatisticsUNSWSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Biological, Earth and Environmental SciencesUNSWSydneyAustralia

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