Drawing conclusions about the past

6 March 2014 by Liz

Drawings of cups excavated in Rainford

Recently staff in the archaeology department at the Museum of Liverpool have been working on drawings of some of our finds from the Rainford’s Roots community archaeology project.

We draw a lot of our finds as this helps to record their form (shape), material and textures. Sometimes drawings can be better than photographs in showing some of the detail of an object.  Because drawings are accurately measured, they can also contain information like the thickness of parts of an object which you couldn’t see in a photograph, such as the wall and base of these cups.

In archaeology it’s important to record excavations and finds in detail and to publish results from research as the process of excavating a site destroys the site.  Archaeologists have to make detailed records so people in the future can understand what was found in different layers of soil.    Published drawings of finds are useful for archaeologists who might have found similar objects as it might help them identify and date their objects through comparison.  A selection of our publications are available to buy online.

Drawings show details of texture of objectsIt’s a tricky skill to master, but we enjoy doing finds illustration, but some objects are especially hard where they have intricate detailed decoration.  Just look at some of the clay tobacco pipes found in Rainford – some of these are very hard to draw!

Come along to the Finds Friday session tomorrow morning, 11am-12noon, to see some of the recent finds from Rainford, and learn more about what we’ve discovered.

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