Shortcodes to describe inclusions in ceramic bodies
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This is the reference implementation for a small domain language that I developed during an intensive session of study in Gortyna (Crete), as part of the research project for my PhD.

When studying ceramic finds, it is desirable to record their fabric. While several sophisticated methods exist, a small lens is by far the most cheap and quick tool to examine ceramic bodies.

The language allows to record in a very concise way the inclusions seen in a ceramic sherd. Each observation consists of 4 separate attributes:

  • color
  • size
  • shape
  • frequency

Color is coded with a letter. Size is coded with a number, smaller numbers indicate smaller size and I used a scale from 1 to 5, with occasional usage of higher numbers for exceptionally large inclusions. Shape is coded with letters, that express roundness, elongation or particular shapes that inclusions can take. Frequency is coded with a number, a larger number indicates more of that type of inclusion.

For example, b2t3 means "white, small, rounded, average abundance" ("b" is for "bianco" and "t" for "tondo"). I found this extremely quick to type, and after one day I was able to type this kind of codes with one hand without even thinking about the "conversion", and it was faster than any database form I have ever seen.

Ceramic fabrics can contain several different types of inclusion. To record more than one type, I just typed them in sequence into a single field of text.

There are two reasons why it is desirable to have a decoder:

  1. not everyone may like this language in first place
  2. extracting data means we can analyse it

This software is free software. See the LICENSE file to know your rights.