It's amazing what you'll find when you count art!

Can art and statistics get along?

Check out this introductory video about the Art of Counting project. Learn how we combine art historical research and statistics to better understand our shared visual history.

The Red Looped Sash

New research on an enigmatic element of royal regalia.

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Every detail matters

Correlation

Guess what? You already understand it.

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Gorgeous colors & resplendent details are a gift from the past not to be wasted.

Ground-breaking research

Download the PhD dissertation, Excel spreadsheets of raw data and more!

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Hacking the Ankh

What does this ubiquitous Egyptian symbol really mean?

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Uncovering patterns hidden in plain sight

Factor analysis and art history

How does it work and what can it reveal?

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You put your botany in my Egyptology!

Ancient Egypt's lappet wig

Examination of pharaoh's most democratic headgear.

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Every piece is important to solving the puzzle!

Tacky Tourists

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Hacking the Atef crown

A brief discussion of this elaborate crown at Medinet Habu.

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Not just pretty pictures...

though we do have a lot of pretty pictures.

Directed vs. Data-driven research

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Cluster analysis & art history

It's not as scary as it looks!

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Hacking the king's sandals

In-depth discussion on the symbolism of pharaoh's footwear.

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Bound foes

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    Temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu NOTE: Bound prisoners, particularly foreign foes, are a common sight in Egyptian temples.  They usually appear in the lower courses of the relief or in scenes depicting the successful result of battle.  Ethnically distinct groups–Nubian, Libyan, or Asiatic–are …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Personified emblems

    Tomb of Ramses III (KV 11) NOTE: Personified emblems, often the ankh, djed pillar, and was scepter, appear first in the Predynastic period (such as on labels of king Narmer) and continue to be used throughout Egyptian history.  Usually, these emblems with arms follow the …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Tail

    Tomb of Ramses VI (KV 9) NOTE: The tail worn by the king is one of the oldest elements of royal regalia.  It appears on the Narmer Palette as well as on numerous other Early Dynastic objects (such as this ivory label of Den from …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Bouquet offering

    Temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu NOTE: These offerings depict the king before a deity presenting various types of bouquets.  They imply regeneration and and fecundity.  According to the analysis of offering scenes at Medinet Habu, they tend to be presented to ithyphallic or …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Falcon hovering overhead

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    Tomb of Ramses VI (KV 9) NOTE:  Falcons, like discs and vultures, are often depicted hovering over the kin’g head.  They shield pharaoh from harm and also bestow various gifts.  In the above instance, the unidentified  falcon extends to the king a shen sign (representative …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Sunshade

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    Tomb of Khaemwaset (QV 44) NOTE:  The sunshade, unlike the khu fan, appeared early in Egypt’s history.  They appear on both the Narmer macehead and that of King ‘Scorpion’ (Oxford, Ashmolean Museum E 3631 and 3632).  This emblem is generally seen as signifying a divine …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Khu fan

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    Tomb of Khaemwaset (QV 44) NOTE:  The khu-fan does not appear until the middle of the Eighteenth Dynasty, during the reign of Amenhotep II.  It is described as a ceremonial fan and was often carried by high-status officials who bore the title ‘fanbearers on the …

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  • Art of Counting founder Dr. Amy Calvert now contributing to Smarthistory project, presented by Khan Academy

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    A few weeks ago, I became aware of a marvelous art history project known as Smarthistory.  Founded by two New York art historians, Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker,  Smarthistory grew from their pursuit of creating an accessible way to introduce art history to …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Cap crown

    Tomb of Khaemwaset (QV 44) NOTE: This tight-fitting crown was known from probably the Old Kingdom (these examples may represent close-cropped hair rather than a cap) and certainly the Middle Kingdom, although it was not terribly common.   It appeared on the heads of queens …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Being led

    Temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu NOTE: This variable covers the action of the primary individual being led–whether pharaoh or, in private tombs, the deceased.  The king is regularly shown in temple relief being led by one or a pair of deities (often Montu, …

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The Art of Counting is dedicated to the memory of Margery Meilleur, who first taught me to view history through the eyes of the images we create.