Published March 30, 2023 | Version 1.1
Software Open

PyREnArA (Python-R-Enviroment-for-Artefact-Analysis)

  • 1. Institute of Prehistoric Archeology, University of Cologne, Bernhard-Feilchenfeld-Str. 11, 50969 Köln, Germany
  • 2. Institute of Computer Science, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Von-Seckendorff-Platz 1, 06120 Halle, Germany
  • 3. Institut für Prähistorische Archäologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Fabeckstr. 23-25, 14195 Berlin, Germany


PyREnArA (Python-R-Environment for Artifact Analysis) is a code for half-automated, trait-based recording of morphological properties of (stone-)artifacts and the statistical evaluation of the recorded properties. PyREnArA, as the name says, is written both in Python and R. It is specialized for the analysis of paleolithic projectile points depicted in drawings or photographs. It provides traditional and new information on artifact morphology, customized for the implemented statistical methods, which allow for quantitative analyses of morphological change and to statistically determine the amount of variation that correlates with the progress of time or with the geographical position. In doing so, it provides insight into material culture evolution far beyond traditional typology. However, as completely independent analytical system, it is not intended to substitute typological research, but rather to complement it and to provide new perspectives on the archaeological record, which are otherwise invisible. The recording system, on which PyREnArA is based on, has been developed over several semesters in seminars with students from the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg and the University of Cologne. The coding was done by Robin John, Florian Linsel and Dr. Georg Roth.

This is PyREnArA 1.1

  • bugs from PyREnArA (version 1) have been fixed
  • metrical data for width and length returns now in integer values
  • fault in GMM function has been corrected (norm = TRUE)
  • new meanshape-plot in GMM
  • MEM function is now available
  • correlation function now with barplot
  • RDA function more flexible
  • more standardized and readable plots in RDA function
  • group function for data set partition


Literature for figures used in case study ("Gravettian points from Lower Austria and Moravia): Aggsbach: Otte, M. (1981). Le Gravettien en Europe Centrale (Dissertationes Archaeologicae Gandenses 20). De Tempel. Dolní Věstonice: Klíma, B. (1963). Dolní Věstonice: výzkum tábořiště lovců mamutů v letech 1947-1952 (Unter- Wisternitz. Die Erforschung des Lagerplatzes der Mammutjäger 1947-1952). Nakl. Československé akademie věd. Grub/Kranawetberg: Photographs by Walpurga Antl-Weiser. Jarošov II: Škrdla, P., Nývltova-Fišákova, M. & Nyvlt, D. (2006). Jarošov II settlement cluster. Results of the 2005 excavation. Archeologické rozhledy, LVIII, 207–236. Krems Wachtberg: Simon, U., Händel, M., Einwögerer, T. & Neugebauer-Maresch, C. (2014). The archaeological record of the Gravettian open air site Krems-Wachtberg. Quaternary International, 351, 5-13. Thomas, R. & Ziehaus, J. (2014). Spatial and chronological patterns of the lithics of hearth 1 at the Gravettian site Krems-Wachtberg. Quaternary International, 351, 134–145. Thomas, R. Brandl, M. & Simon, U. (2016). The Gravettian lithic industry at Krems-Wachtberg (Austria). Quaternary International, 406, 106–119. Milovice I: Polanská, M. (2018). Questionnement sur la diversité du Pavlovien morave par l'étude technologique des gisements de Milovice I, Pavlov I, Pavlov VI, Dolni Vestonice II-WS, Predmostí Ib (République tchèque) (Doctoral dissertation, Paris 1). Pavlov 1: Svoboda J. (Ed.) (1994). Pavlov I – Excavations 1952-1953. ERAUL 66. Liège Petrkovice: Novák, M. (2008). Flint and radiolarite assemblages: technology and typology. In J. Svoboda (Ed.), Petrkovice. On Shouldered Points and Female Figurines, The Dolní Věstonice Studies, 15, (pp. 70– 142). Brno. Predmostí: Absolon, K., & Klíma, B. (1977). Predmostí: ein Mammutjägerplatz in Mähren. Fontes Archaeologiae Moravicae Brno, 8. Willendorf: Felgenhauer F. (1959). Willendorf in der Wachau. Monographie der Paläolith-Fundstellen I-VII. Mitteilungen der Prähistorischen Kommission der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften VIII-IX. Vienna. Moreau, L. (2010). Geißenklösterle. The Swabian Gravettian in its European context: Geißenklösterle. Das schwäbische Gravettien im europäischen Kontext. Quartär, 57, 79–93. Moreau L. (2012). Le Gravettien ancien d'Europe centrale revisité: mise au point et perspectives, L'Anthropologie, 116(5), 609–638. Otte, M. (1981). Le Gravettien en Europe Centrale (Dissertationes Archaeologicae Gandenses 20). De Tempel.


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