The project “Attic Head Vessels Revisited” started from the Attic head vases (IV 997-1000, 1038, 1039, 3776, 4550) stored in the Department of Antiquities of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien  and the corresponding high resolution 3D scanned models. It is well documented that the vast majority of Attic pottery is thrown on the pottery wheel. However, when it comes to head vases the potters only used this technique to make the upper part of the vessel (i.e., the neck and rim), as the body of the vessel (i.e., the head) were made using double moulds. Aware that the use of moulds enables mass production, while maintaining general quality standards and similar dimensions, prompts the question: were similar shape vases made by the same mould? Because it is hard to answer this question by using conventional methods, we will use 3D digital models. This approach will enable qualitative and quantitative comparisons of both general shape and fine features of the vases, even when they have been stored in different places. From these comparisons, we aim at gaining further knowledge on the production and efficiency of Athenian pottery workshops, as well as on the chronology of these specific vases.

So far, Attic head vases from the following collections have been made available for this research: Berlin, Antikensammlung; Bologna, Archaeological Museum; Budapest, Nationalmuseum; Munich, Antikensammlungen; Tübingen, University; Wien, Kunsthistorisches Museum. We gratefully thank all curators who showed interest in this project and generously granted access to the collections.

All 3D models will be included in the ongoing ODEEG-project (Online database for research on the development of pottery shapes and filling capacities - Go!Digital-Projekt), from the Austrian Archaeological Institute (OeAI, OeAW).



E. Trinkl – D. Rieke-Zapp – L. Homer, Face to face – Considering the moulding of Attic head vases reconsidering Beazley's groups by quantitative analysis, JASREP 2017 (doi: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.07.023)

E. Trinkl – A. Schöne-Denkinger –D. Rieke-Zapp, Hightech trifft auf griechische Kopfgefäße, Antike Welt: Zeitschrift für Archaeologie und Kulturgeschichte 17,1. 2017, 35–37

D.H. Rieke-Zapp – E. Trinkl, Face to face - close range inspection of head vases,  The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, Volume XLII-2/W5, 2017, 601-604 (doi:10.5194/isprs-archives-XLII-2-W5-601-2017)

Principal Investigator

Elisabeth Trinkl (associated)


  • University of Graz
  • Hexagon (Cultural Heritage department)