Archaeological illustration

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Pages of Medieval pottery prepared and ready for publication

Archaeological Illustration is a form of technical illustration that records material derived from an archaeological context graphically. [1]


Archaeological Illustration encompasses a number of sub disciplines. These are:

  • Photography : To produce a record of archaeological sites, buildings, artifacts and landscapes. Archaeological photographers will uses a range of different formats particularly black-and-white and colour slide.[2] Digital photography is now starting to become more widely used and is especially useful for the recording of historic building. Aerial photography is commonly used as a tool for recording sites and is also used as a prospecting tool to locate new archaeological sites.
  • Interpretation and reconstruction illustration : To visualise the results of archaeological field work in a way that is meaningful and visually appealing to as many as possible.[5] Reconstruction artists work in many media from traditional pen-and-ink and painted reconstruction to more modern techniques including 3D, virtual reality and video.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barker 1977
  2. ^ a b Archaeological Archives Forum report [1]
  3. ^ Archaeological Data Service digital data standards. Digital Archives from Excavation and Fieldwork: Guide to Good Practice 2nd Edition
  4. ^ The Graphics Archaeology Group of the IfA (GAG) provide a range of guidance documents online.
  5. ^ Hodgson 2000

Further reading[edit]

  • Philip Barker (1977). Techniques of Archaeological Excavation, Batsford
  • Adkins, L. and Adkins, R.A (1989). Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology: Archaeological Illustration Cambridge University Press
  • John Hodgson (2000). Archaeological reconstruction: illustrating the past, AAI&S & IFA
  • Griffiths, N. Jenner, A. and Wilson, C. (2002). Drawing Archaeological Finds: A Handbook Archetype
  • Melanie Steiner (2005). Approaches to Archaeological Illustration: A Handbook, Council for British Archaeology
  • The MoLAS archaeological site manual MoLAS, London 1994.

External links[edit]