Main Article Content
As 3D scanning and photogrammetry are supplanting traditional illustration techniques with increasing speed, archaeologists and architectural historians have sounded alarms about what stands to be lost if hand drawing is altogether eliminated from fieldwork. This paper argues that the most direct threat is to a particular form of archaeological illustration which does not necessarily share the advantages attributed to other kinds of drawing. Recording by means of “technical drawing” communicates a collectively agreed interpretation of the ancient record, and its primary benefit is not stimulating creative thought but rather enhancing human observation. A review of two cases comparing the illustration of ancient Greek architecture through analogue and digital methods indicates that, in practice, both approaches draw attention away from the ancient subject and focus it on distracting protocols for the great majority of the time spent in the field. Even so, technical drawing requires protracted, in-person scrutiny of the subject, whereas 3D technologies pose a genuine risk of altogether eliminating meaningful human interpretation from the recording process. The greater efficiencies of digital techniques suggest a path forward, as time once allocated to tedious stages of technical drawing might be applied toward more thoughtful interpretive tasks. However, such measures must be deliberately integrated into a digital research program through planning around the very different cadences of the digital process.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
From 18 May 2018, the contents of Studies in Digital Heritage are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0). Our submitting authors pay no fee and retain the copyright to their own work.
How this works: in order to submit their work to the journal, authors grant Studies in Digital Heritage a nonexclusive license to distribute the work according to a CC BY-NC 4.0 license. Once an article is published, anyone is free to share and adapt its contents—provided only that they do so for noncommercial purposes and properly attribute the shared or adapted information. Details of these terms can be found on the Creative Commons website.
Studies in Digital Heritage will insert the following note at the end of any work published in the journal:
© [Year] by the authors. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY-NC 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).
Lesley Adkins and Roy Adkins. 1989. Archaeological Illustration, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chiara Ambrosio. 2014. Objectivity and Representative Practices across Artistic and Scientific Visualization. In Annamaria Carusi, Aud S. Hoel, Timothy Webmoor, and Steve Woolgar, eds. Visualization in the Age of Computerization. London: Routledge, 118–144.
Kathrin M. Amelung. 2019. Illustration: On the Epistemic Potential of Active Imagination in Science. In Alan Male, ed. A Companion to Illustration. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 330–353.
Jonathan Bateman. 2006. Pictures, Ideas, and Things: The Production and Currency of Archaeological Images. In Matt Edgeworth, ed. Ethnographies of Archaeological Practice. Cultural Encounters, Material Transformations. Lanham: Altamira Press, 68–80.
Gareth Beale and Paul Reilly. 2017. After Virtual Archaeology: Rethinking Archaeological Approaches to the Adoption of Digital Technology. Internet Archaeology 44, 1 (2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.44.1
Elia T. Ben-Ari. 1999. Better than a thousand words: Botanical artists blend science and aesthetics. BioScience 49, 8 (1999), 602–608.
Wilfrid Blunt and William T. Stearn. 1994. The Art of Botanical Illustration, Woodbridge: Antique Collector’s Club.
D. Matthew Buell, John C. McEnroe, Jorge A. Botero Besadalombana, and Rafał Bieńkowski. 2020. Recent Architectural Studies at Goúrnia in East Krete: 2011–2016. In Philip Sapirstein and David R. Scahill, eds. New Directions and Paradigms for the Study of Greek Architecture. Interdisciplinary Dialogues in the Field. Leiden: Brill, 123–134.
Stefano Campana. 2017. Drones in Archaeology. State-of-the-art and Future Perspectives. Archaeological Prospection 24 (2017), 275–296.
William Caraher. 2016. Slow Archaeology: Technology, Efficiency, and Archaeological Work. In Erin Walcek Averett, J.M. Gordon, and Derek B. Counts, eds. Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future: The Potential of Digital Archaeology. Grand Forks: The University of North Dakota, 421–441.
Eric S. Carlson. 2014. Representation and Structure Conflict in the Digital Age: Reassessing Archaeological Illustration and the Use of Cubist Techniques in Depicting Images of the Past. Advances in Archaeological Practice 2, 4 (2014), 269–284.
Ross Dallas. 2007. Tools Overview. In Rand Eppich and Amel Chabbi, eds. Recording, Documentation, and Information Management for the Conservation of Heritage Places: Illustrated Examples. Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute, 5–9.
Jeroen De Reu, Gertjan Plets, Geert Verhoeven, Philippe De Smedt, Machteld Bats, Bart Cherretté, Wouter De Maeyer, Jasper Deconynck, Davy Herremans, Pieter Laloo, Marc Van Meirvenne, and Wim De Clercq. 2013. Towards a three-dimensional cost-effective registration of the archaeological heritage. Journal of Archaeological Science 40 (2013), 1108–1121.
P.J. De Vos. 2017. Documenting for Posterity: Advocating the Use of Advanced Recording Techniques for Documentation in the Field of Building Archaeology. In 26th International CIPA Symposium, ISPRS IV-2/W2 – Proceedings. ISPRS, 59–65.
Matthew Douglass, Sam Lin, and Michael Chodoronek. 2015. The Application of 3D Photogrammetry for In-Field Documentation of Archaeological Features. Advances in Archaeological Practice 3, 2 (2015), 136–152.
Matt Edgeworth. 2003. Acts of Discovery: An Ethnography of Archaeological Practice, Oxford: Archaeopress.
Matt Edgeworth. 2014. From Spadework to Screenwork: New Forms of Archaeological Discovery in Digital Space. In Annamaria Carusi, Aud S. Hoel, Timothy Webmoor, and Steve Woolgar, eds. Visualization in the Age of Computerization. London: Routledge, 40–58.
Brian Edwards. 2008. Understanding Architecture Through Drawing, Abingdon: Taylor & Francis.
Stuart Eve. 2018. Losing our Senses, an Exploration of 3D Object Scanning. Open Archaeology, 4, 114–122.
Kevin Garstki. 2016. Virtual Representation: The Production of 3D Digital Artifacts. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 24, 3, 726–750. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10816-016-9285-z
Guy Gibbon. 1990. What Does an Observation Mean in Archeology? Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association 2, 1 (1990), 5–10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/ap3a.19188.8.131.52
Ayelet Gilboa, Ayellet Tal, Ilan Shimshoni, and Michael Kolomenkin. 2013. Computer-based, automatic recording and illustration of complex archaeological artifacts. Journal of Archaeological Science, 40, 1329–1339. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2012.09.018
Charles Goodwin. 1994. Professional Vision. American Anthropologist 96, 3, 606–633.
G. Guidi. 2014. Terrestrial optical active sensors – theory & applications. In F. Remondino and Stefano Campana, eds. 3D Recording and Modelling in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage – Theory and Best Practices. Oxford: Archaeopress, 39–62.
Edward C. Harris. 1989. Principles of archaeological stratigraphy, London: Academic Press.
Patrick S. Herendeen, Gwilym P. Lewis, and Anne Bruneau. 2003. Floral Morphology in Caesalpinioid Legumes: Testing the Monophyly of the “Umtiza Clade”. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 164, Suppl. 5, S393–S407.
Brian Hope-Taylor. 1966. Archaeological Draughtsmanship: Principles and Practice. Part II: Ends and Means. Antiquity, 40, 107–113.
Matthew D. Howland. 2018. 3D Recording in the Field: Style Without Substance? In Thomas E. Levy and Ian W.N. Jones, eds. Cyber-archaeology and Grand Narratives: Digital Technology and Deep-Time Perspectives on Culture Change in the Middle East. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 19–33.
Jeremy Huggett. 2015. A manifesto for an introspective digital archaeology. Open Archaeology, 1, 86–95.
Jeremy Huggett. 2017. The Apparatus of Digital Archaeology. Internet Archaeology, 44, 7 (2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.44.7
Sarah J. Humphrey. 2018. Botanical Art with Scientific Illustration, Ramsbury: The Crowood Press.
Tim Ingold. 2007. Lines. A Brief History, London: Routledge.
Tim Ingold. 2011. Being Alive. Essays on movement, knowledge and description, London: Routledge.
Simon James. 2015. ‘Visual competence’ in archaeology: a problem hiding in plain sight. Antiquity, 89, 1189–1202.
Peter Jensen. 2018. Evaluating authenticity: the authenticity of 3D models in archaeological field documentation. In Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, Fabrizio Galeazzi and Valentina Vassallo, eds. Authenticity and cultural heritage in the age of 3D digital reproductions. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, 59–74.
Siân Jones, Stuart Jeffrey, Mhairi Maxwell, Alex Hale, and Cara Jones. 2018. 3D heritage visualisation and the negotiation of authenticity: the ACCORD project. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 24, 4, 333–353. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13527258.2017.1378905
Justin J.L. Kimball. 2016. 3D Delineation: A modernisation of drawing methodology for field archaeology, Oxford: Archaeopress.
Robin Letellier. 2007. Recording, Documentation, and Information Management for the Conservation of Heritage Places: Guiding Principles, Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute.
W. Fred Limp. 2016. Measuring the Face of the Past and Facing the Measurement. In Maurizio Forte and Stefano Campana, eds. Digital Methods and Remote Sensing in Archaeology. Archaeology in the Age of Sensing. Cham: Springer, 349–369.
David G. Lowe. 2004. Distinctive Image Features from Scale-Invariant Keypoints. International Journal of Computer Vision, 60, 2, 91–110.
Thomas Luhmann. 2010. Close range photogrammetry for industrial applications. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 65, 558–569.
H. Mara and S. Krömker. 2017. Visual Computing for Archaeological Artifacts with Integral Invariant Filters in 3D. In Eurographics Workshop on Graphics and Cultural Heritage – GCH 2017. The Eurographics Association, 37–47. http://dx.doi.org/10.2312/gch.20171290
Lesley McFadyen. 2011. Practice Drawing Writing Object. In Tim Ingold, ed. Redrawing Anthropology. Materials, Movements, Lines. Farnham: Ashgate, 33–43.
Barray Molloy and Marina Milić. 2018. Wonderful Things? A Consideration of 3D Modelling of Objects in Material Culture Research. Open Archaeology, 4, 97–113. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/opar-2018-0006
Colleen Morgan and Holly Wright. 2018. Pencils and Pixels: Drawing and Digital Media in Archaeological Field Recording. Journal of Field Archaeology, 43, 2, 136–151. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00934690.2018.1428488
Stephanie Moser. 1998. Ancestral Images: The Iconography of Human Origins, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Stephanie Moser. 2001. Archaeological Representation: The Visual Conventions for Constructing Knowledge about the Past. In Ian Hodder, ed. Archaeological Theory Today. Polity: Cambridge, 262–283.
Stephanie Moser. 2012. Archaeological Visualization: Early Artifact Illustration and the Birth of the Archaeological Image. In Ian Hodder, ed. Archaeological Theory Today. Cambridge: Polity Press, 292–321.
Stephanie Moser. 2014. Making Expert Knowledge through the Image: Connections between Antiquarian and Early Modern Scientific Illustration. Isis, 105, 58–99. http://dx.doi.org/0021-1753/2014/10501-0003
S. Murray, S. Fachard, A.R. Knodell, K. Papangeli, M. Berenfeld, and E. Svana. 2017. New and Traditional Methods for Thorough Documentation and Analysis of Architectural Features in the Greek Landscape: A Case Study from the Mazi Archaeological Project (Western Attica). In Giorgos Vavouranakis, Markos Katsianis, Yiannis Papadatos, Marlen Mouliou, and Platon Petridis, eds. Digital pasts for the present. Proceedings of the 2nd Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology. Greek Chapter (CAA-GR). Athens, 20-21 December 2016. Athens: National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, 3–10.
Francesco Nex and Fabio Remondino. 2014. UAV for 3D mapping applications: a review. Applied Geomatics, 6, 1, 1–15.
Michael Olsson. 2016. Making sense of the past: The embodied information practices of field archaeologists. Journal of Information Science, 42, 3, 410–419.
Rachel S. Opitz and W. Fred Limp. 2015. Recent Developments in High-Density Survey and Measurement (HDSM) for Archaeology: Implications for Practice and Theory. Annual Review of Anthropology, 44, 347–364. http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-anthro-102214-013845
Stuart Piggott. 1965. Archaeological Draughtsmanship: Principles and Practice. Part I: Principles and Retrospect. Antiquity, 39, 165–176.
Martin Pilsitz. 2017. Drawing and Drafting in Architecture: Architectural History as a Part of Future Studies. Periodica Polytechnica Architecture, 48, 1, 72–78. http://dx.doi.org/10.3311/PPar.11310
Daniel J. Pullen and Philip Sapirstein. 2020. Materiality of Power through Masonry at Mycenaean Kalamianos. In Maud Devolder and Igor Kreimerman, eds. Ashlar Exploring the Materiality of Cut-Stone Masonry in the Eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age. Louvain: Presses universitaires de Louvain, 355–387.
Adam Rabinowitz. 2019. Communicating in Three Dimensions: Questions of Audience and Reuse in 3D Excavation Documentation Practice. Studies in Digital Heritage, 3, 1, 100–116.
F. Remondino. 2014. Photogrammetry: theory. In F. Remondino and Stefano Campana, eds. 3D Recording and Modelling in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage – Theory and Best Practices. Oxford: Archaeopress, 65–73.
Heather Richards-Rissetto and Kristin Landau. 2019. Digitally-Mediated Practices of Geospatial Archaeological Data: Transformation, Integration, & Interpretation. Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology 2, 1, 120–135. http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/jcaa.30
Christopher H. Roosevelt, Peter Cobb, Emanuel Moss, Brandon R. Olson, and Sinan Ünlüsoy. 2015. Excavation is Destruction Digitization: Advances in Archaeological Practice. Journal of Field Archaeology, 40, 3, 325–346.
Philip Sapirstein. 2016. Accurate measurement with photogrammetry at large sites. Journal of Archaeological Science, 66, 137–145. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2016.01.002
Philip Sapirstein and Sarah Murray. 2017. Establishing Best Practices for Photogrammetric Recording During Archaeological Fieldwork. Journal of Field Archaeology, 42, 4, 337–350. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00934690.2017.1338513
David R. Scheer. 2014. The Death of Drawing. Architecture in the Age of Simulation, London: Routledge.
Manfred Schuller. 2002. Building Archaeology, Munich: ICOMOS.
Cameron Shelly. 1996. Visual Abductive Reasoning in Archaeology. Philosophy of Science, 63, 2, 278–301.
Niki Simpson and Peter G. Barnes. 2008. Photography and Contemporary Botanical Illustration. Curtis's Botanical Magazine, 25, 3, 258–280.
S. Smiles and Stephanie Moser, eds. 2008. Envisioning the Past: Archaeology and the Image, Oxford: Blackwell.
Thomas F. Tartaron, Daniel J. Pullen, Richard K. Dunn, Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory, Amy Dill, and Joseph I. Boyce. 2011. The Saronic Harbors Archaeological Research Project (SHARP): Investigations at Mycenaean Kalamianos, 2007–2009. Hesperia, 80, 4, 559–634.
James Taylor, Justine Issavi, Åsa Berggren, Dominik Lukas, Camilla Mazzucato, Burcu Tung and Nicoló Dell’Unto. 2018. 'The Rise of the Machine': the impact of digital tablet recording in the field at Çatalhöyük. Internet Archaeology, 47. https://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.47.1
Georg Treu. 1897. Olympia: die Ergebnisse der von dem deutschen Reich veranstalteten Ausgrabung III. Die Bildwerke von Olympia in Stein und Ton, Berlin: A. Asher.
Jitte Waagen. 2019. New technology and archaeological practice. Improving the primary archaeological recording process in excavation by means of UAS photogrammetry. Journal of Archaeological Science, 101, 11–20.
Helen Wickstead. 2013. Between the Lines: Drawing Archaeology. In P. Graves-Brown, R. Harrison and A. Piccini, eds. The Oxford Companion to the Archaeology of the Contemporary World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 549–564.
Josef Wilczek, Fabrice Monna, Ahmed Jébrane, Catherine Labruère Chazal, Nicolas Navarro, Sébastien Couette, and Carmela Chateau Smith. 2018. Computer-Assisted Orientation and Drawing of Archaeological Pottery. ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage, 11, 4, 22:1–17.
Alessandro Zambelli. 2013. The Undisciplined Drawing. Buildings, 3, 357–379.