No Statistical Difference in Measurements Between Caliper and Apps: A Comparison of Artifact Measurement Methods
Measuring artifacts is a fundamental method of archeological research. Measurements assist scientists in gaining knowledge about past human-animal interactions, the effects of those interactions on ecosystems, environmental changes over time, changes in ecological resources, and much more. The caliper is the traditional tool for such work, but it is uncommon for scientists to carry a set of them around in their bag or pocket while in the field. There is a tool, however, that almost every person carries around with them constantly: the smartphone. In this experiment, we endeavored to discover if two measuring apps, the Ruler app and the ARuler app would make suitable replacements for the caliper when measuring archeological artifacts. Measurements of 50 common Atlantic oyster (Crassostrea virginica) artifacts and 50 faunal bone artifacts of varying species were taken with each tool. The measurements difference between the caliper and each app were found to be significantly less than 1mm in difference (single sample t-test, p 0.96 for both oyster and bone), indicating that the apps are suitable to replace the caliper for archeological measurement. Despite some limitations, this could prove useful for archaeologists in both laboratory and field settings for many reasons, chiefly convenience. Replications of this study and further exploration of the uses for these apps are worth considering.
Florida Undergraduate Research Journal
Florida Undergraduate Research Association (FURA)
College of Arts and Sciences
Lagor, T., Lecher, A. L., & Watson, A. (2024). No statistical difference in measurements between caliper and apps: A comparison of artifact measurement methods. Florida Undergraduate Research Journal, 3(1), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.55880/furj3.1.01