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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Archaeological Illustration (PGHC11060)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is not solely about drawings and does not aim to teach students to become expert in draughting, surveying or photography. It does aim to introduce them to some of the complexities surrounding the visual presentation of archaeological material and to teach them the value of visual material, how to assess it, create it and use it. Visual presentation in archaeology covers a wide range of formats from drawing and photography to museum display, conference exhibition or site presentation. Most of these aspects are covered in the course.
Course description This course will introduce students to both theoretical and practical aspects of the methods of presenting and representing archaeological finds. The theoretical aspects will include a historical overview of how archaeological sites and objects have been depicted and visually reconstructed in the past two centuries; the problems and challenges of archaeological illustration today; a presentation of the principal techniques of traditional and digital illustration and the requirements for standard academic presentation and publication.

The practical sessions of the course will focus on:-
- digital drawing of plans and sections from excavated sites, using bitmap and vector graphic programmes (Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator)
- pen-and-ink and digital drawing of stone tools, pottery, metalwork, wood and bone artefacts, using agreed convention for specialists study and publication
- photography:- basic tips to produce visual records of archaeological landscapes, sites, building and artefacts, including improvement processing
- digital imaging techniques (RTI, DStretch) to investigate the fabric of artefacts and artworks
- 3D photogrammetry to produce and present interactive models of sites and artefacts
- interpretation and reconstruction illustrations, from early artistic works to more recent 3D virtual reality and video.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Archaeological Illustration (ARCA10014)
Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 13/01/2025
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 33, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework: 2 x Essay and 2 x Illustrations (25% each)
Feedback Two pieces of coursework are submitted in the middle of the semester and are used as formative assessment. The first one is an illustration exercise to complete with a computer programme (Adobe Illustrator). The second is an essay addressing theoretical aspects of the use of illustration in Archaeology. Feedback is provided to help students improve their technical and theoretical approaches to archaeological illustration, which they will apply again for the final assessment elements of the course (one illustration and one essay).
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning the history and development of archaeological illustration; of the basic methods employed in the preparation, production and presentation of illustrations; of the drawing conventions and standards for the illustration of small finds; of public presentation issues including virtual reconstruction of sites and artefacts
  2. Analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning the complexities surrounding the visual presentation or archaeological material
  3. Understand and apply specialised research or professional skills, techniques and practices considered in the course, including basic drawing and computer graphic skills, visual analysis, critical and interpretative skills; an ability to produce and use maps, charts and diagrams, and to present graphic work for publication, an ability to use cameras, computer aided graphic programmes, and internet presentation design
Reading List
Griffiths, N., Jenner, A. and Wilson, C. 1991. Drawing archaeological finds: a handbook. London: Archetype Publications.

Dillon, B.D. (ed.) 1985. The student's guide to archaeological illustrating. Los Angeles: Institute of Archaeology.

Molyneaux, B.L. (ed.) 2013. The cultural life of images: visual representation in archaeology. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Martingell, H. and Saville, A. 1988. The illustration of lithic artefacts: a guide to drawing stone tools for specialist reports. Lancaster: Association of Archaeological Illustrators & Surveyors Cardiff.

Allen, S.J. 1994. The illustration of wooden artefacts: an introduction and guide to the depiction of wooden objects from archaeological excavations. Oxford: Association of Archaeological Illustrators & Surveyors.

Hurman, B. and Steiner, M. (eds) 1997. Aspects of illustration: prehistoric pottery. Exeter: Association of Archaeological Illustrators and Surveyors.

Dorrell P. 1989. Photography in archaeology and conservation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Smiles, S. and Moser, S. (eds) 2005. Envisioning the past: archaeology and the image. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell.

Piggott, S. 1978. Antiquity Depicted: Aspects of Archaeological Illustration. London: Thames and Hudson.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information The timetable is arranged annually;
KeywordsArchIllust,Archaeological Illustration
Course organiserDr Guillaume Robin
Tel: (0131 6)50 9963
Course secretaryMiss Mel Baker
Tel: (0131 6)50 4030
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