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: Lower Egyptian costume

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    Temple of Seti I at Abydos NOTE: The beaded apron, net pattern hip apron, and swallow amulet combine to form this enigmatic costume first observed on the Narmer palette.  For a discussion of this unusual costume, which has intense solar connotations, please see D. C. …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Uraeus diadem

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    Temple of Seti I at Abydos NOTE: The uraeus diadem appears to have been used first during the reign of  Akhenaten in Dynasty 18.  This band of aggressive cobras provided extra protection for the king in situations that were (apparently) deemed particularly treacherous.  A ceremonial shield …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Hedjet crown

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    Tomb of Khaemwaset (QV 44) NOTE: The hedjet crown (often referred to as the White crown), was connected to Upper Egypt.  It occurs most commonly as white or yellow.  When paired with the deshret (the Red crown of Lower Egypt), they form the Dual crown …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Footstool

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    Temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu  

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  • New infrared technique unveils hidden details in Renaissance paintings

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    A  new technique has been developed that mitigates the traditional problem with using infrared on artwork–heat.  This light-based method, known as Thermal Quasi-Reflectography (TQR), generates much less heat while providing more detail than previous approaches. Established techniques called near-infrared spectroscopy and thermography use chunks of this …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Hook

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    Tomb of Khaemwaset (QV 44) NOTE: This royal scepter, known in Egyptian as a heka, was often paired with the flail.  

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  • Continued turmoil leads to staggering levels of looting in Egypt

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    The Jasmine Revolution and ensuing political issues in Egypt have left the country in a decidedly tenuous position.  Among the many significant challenges Egypt must struggle with now is how to properly protect it’s treasured, global heritage in a time of such instability. With nearly 5,700 reported …

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  • 3D tour of pyramids and monuments of Giza now available!

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    The massive and wonderful Giza Archives project, a joint Harvard-MFA mission under the direction of Peter Der Manuelian, announced today that they have released an innovative 3D tour of the Giza plateau developed for the Harvard-MFA project by Dassault Systems. It’s an animated computer rendering of …

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  • Tacky Tourists and the ICAHM

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    An article appeared recently from National Geographic about the first conference of the International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management and the state of World Heritage Sites.  There is no doubt that Tacky Tourists are everywhere, but much of the extensive damage outlined in this article isn’t …

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  • A succinct introduction to the wonders of data mining!

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    An article on data mining appeared in the Atlantic yesterday.  This brief piece explains a number of the complex methods of data mining in wonderfully simple terms. Discovering information from data takes two major forms: description and prediction. At the scale we are talking about, …

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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.