The most important piece of equipment you’ll need is your pencil

On Saturday morning IGMT hosted the first of a series of educational workshops related to the field and profession of archaeology. This first workshop, ran by me, focused on the skills and techniques associated with archaeological illustration and drawing. The drawn record is an extremely important aspect of any archaeological project, and this workshop was put together to introduce the participants to drawing both site plans and sections, and the artefacts that they might find.

We started the day with artefact illustration, and after a short intorduction to the topic we started to have a go at drawing some artefacts including what looked to be an iron hedging bill, and a variety of ceramic vessels. The aim of the exercise was to create an accurate scale record of these artefacts, thinking about shape, size and texture, and not to produce a beautiful oil painting. This is probably the most important thing to remember about archaeological illustration, and sometimes the hardest to grasp. Any drawing, whether is be on site, or of an object, is a technical drawing, not a picture. As such it quite often means that if you’re not very good at art, you may well be good at archaeological drawing – lucky for me as I struggle to draw stickmen!!

Having drawn all our artefacts we moved our attention to site drawing, specifically how to draw both plans and section drawings to record the statigraphy and features on archaeological sites. This mean that we had to move outside, thankfully the sun was out so for once we got to draw in the dry – it always seems that when I have to do planning or section drawing on site, I have to do so in the pouring rain.

I really enjoyed running this workshop, and I hope that those who came along to it not only learnt something but enjoyed doing so. Going by the comments on the evaluation forms I think they did.

The next workshop is planned for the end of August and will focus on both archiving and conservation with archaeological collections. If you’re interested in coming alongbook you’re place with me via the contact page.

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