At the end of June we’ll be launching a number of practical archaeology workshops to be run for volunteers and community groups which will aim to provide participants with an introduction to some of the skills and techniques used by archaeologists in the profession. We are hoping to run these on a bimonthly basis, and topics will include Opensourse GIS, Pottery Identification, and hopefully Geophysical Survey.
The workshops will kick off on Saturday 29th June with Illustration and Survey. This will aim to demonstrate two very different forms of drawing techniques employed by archaeologists.
Firstly, there will be a chance to have a go at illustrating artefacts. Drawings of artefacts are an extremely important part of any archive, as objects could be lost, stolen, broken or simply decay. Similarly whereas a photograph and a written decription can suffice in certain circumstances, a drawing can convey information on an object’s size, shape, form and often manufacture, all in a series of elevations, plans and sections that are just not possible with a photograph alone. The level of detail in a drawing also far exceeds and photograph, even those taken professionally. During the workshop you will be introduced to the basic principles of illustration and then be given the opportunity to have a go at drawing a range of artefacts including ceramic vessels and tiles, metal objects and even some glass.
The second part of the workshop will focus on drawing on a much larger scale: survey illustration. Again this is essentially the same as finds illustration, only the subject of your drawing is much bigger and thus must be drawn to scale (unlike many finds drawings which are often drawn actual size). Whilst excavating, archaeologists are required to draw plans, sections and elevations of the site and stratigraphy as part of the record of that site. In addition drawings of buildings and monuments are also a very important part of the archaeological record. You will also get the chance to learn some of these skills during the workshop.
Places will have to be limited to just 20 people, so if you are interested in taking part please book with me (via the contact me page) in order to avoid disappointment. The workshop will be run at the Coalbrookdale site between 9am and 1pm. There will be a small charge for the workshop (TBC), and refreshments will only be available from the Museum of Iron cafe at a cost.