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Material Study and Recording - 10 credits (HS2302)

Course Description

This module provides an introduction to the recording of archaeological artefacts for archival and publication purpose, using the various techniques for illustrating different materials (iron with cross hatching, copper alloy with stipple and flint in line). It also introduces the recording of archaeological sections in the field and their preparation for publication, again using the various conventions to show the variations in the recorded contexts.

Credits: 10

Availability of module: Every year. Autumn semester and repeated in Spring semester

Prerequisites: N/A

Necessary for: Core module, compulsory for BA and BSc single honours archaeology

Tutor: Ian Dennis

Teaching methods

Supervised laboratory work of 11, 3-hour sessions. These take place on Thursday afternoons, 2.00 – 5.00 p.m.


Portfolio of drawings, 100%

Summary of course content

  • Bar Scales exercise
  • Pen drawings of a Neolithic bowl and a Viking antler comb
  • Section drawing
  • Iron artefact drawings
  • Pottery artefact drawings&
  • Flint artefact drawings

Presentation: All work (including any preparation work) should be displayed in an appropriate portfolio including appropriate labels and relevant comments.

Learning outcomes

Artefact analysis: identifying artefacts, their material composition, how they are made, how they have been used and to draw artefacts accurately in pencil and ink using accepted conventions corresponding to material type.

How to record sections in the field and then ink/digitise for publication.

Suggested book purchases


Suggested preparatory reading

Griffiths, N.and Jenner, A. with Wilson, C. 1990. Drawing Archaeological finds, A Handbook.  Archetype publications ltd.