A day of mattocks and pencils

We had a good day today but the waterproofs came out during a torrential downpour after lunch.  We took out some more tarmac in the northern corridor during the rain.  The excavations come right up to, and beyond,  the steps leading into the bath house and we need to work out how to keep visitors and the mosaics safe.  We’re starting to think of this as extreme public archaeology!

 Meanwhile, Martin has been recording the mosaics at the southern end of the corridor:

Martin is using a planning frame which is one metre square with strings set at ten centimetre intervals.  The frame helps us to plan complex shapes as the strings correspond to squares on graph paper to make a scale drawing.   We draw with a very hard pencil onto a transparent waterproof material.  We draw for information rather than as a  representation of every single stone.  The aim is to describe what we see so that we can understand it.  When we have finished, the conservators will make a far more accurate plan of the mosaics so that we can monitor their condition.  Here is a close-up of Martin’s plan in progress:

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2 Responses to A day of mattocks and pencils

  1. RW and EA says:

    As demonstrated by the photograph of the scale plan, would it not be possible to use Digital immages from the camera in addition to the scale drawing by using the scale grid frame as reference for the immages taken? Also it would act as a refernce to show if any item was missing from the scale plan.

  2. Martin Papworth says:

    My plan provides an illustration for the site context numbers and allows me to add notes on condition and relationships between walls and deposits. Next week Downland will bring a laser scanner and photogrammetric camera and create 3D images of the mosaics that will be measurable in autocad and using the images they create we can monitor the condition of the mosaics in future years.

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