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Monday, 31 October 2022

3D Scanning of Objects

This past week has been quite an exciting and fun time at the Egypt Centre. On Monday, I joined the museum’s new Collections Access Manager, Meg Gundlach, and colleagues from the Richard Burton Archives at Swansea University in receiving training on using two newly purchased Artec 3D scanners. The training was delivered by Alex Chung, of Central Scanning Ltd. 3D Scanning is a fast and efficient process used to collect 3D point cloud data, for the creation of 3-dimensional models. These are particularly useful as they allow researchers to interact with the Egypt Centre collection in ways that is not always possible through 2D imagery. Additionally, with the creation of 3D models, it is possible to print replicas of our objects, something we plan to experiment with in the coming weeks.

Fig. 1: Alex Chung scanning the Djedhor the Saviour statue base


During the training, Alex introduced us first to the Artec Eva scanner, which is designed for larger objects. This structured-light 3D scanner is the ideal choice for making quick, textured, and accurate 3D models of larger-sized objects such as a coffin. It scans quickly, capturing precise measurements in high resolution. We decided to scan the plaster cast of the statue base of Djedhor the Saviour (W302), which had recently returned to the Egypt Centre following conservation work at Cardiff Conservation Department (fig. 1). While the exterior surface was generally straightforward to capture, the interior was quite challenging. This is because the cast is built around a wooden structure, which contains some hard-to-reach areas (fig. 2). However, with a little persistence, it should be possible to capture the entire surface. We then moved on to the Artec Spider scanner, which is perfect for capturing small objects.

Fig. 2: Scanning the underside of the Djedhor statue base.


There were several things I was very surprised about. Firstly, both hand-held scanners are extremely light, weighing less than 1kg each. Secondly, just how quickly it takes to scan an object (depending on size, of course). Thirdly, the software package, Artec Studio 17 Professional, is very easy to use. For smaller objects, it only took us on average of 30 minutes to scan, process, and upload the model to Sketchfab—processing times will, of course, differ for each person depending on the processing capabilities of their computers.

Meg scanning the amulet of Sopdu-Hor

 

Between Tuesday and Friday, we scanned eleven objects. While still experimenting and getting used to the scanner and software, we are really happy with the models so far. Some of them were relatively straightforward, such as the wooden ba-bird (W429), a wooden funerary figure (W453), and a Cypriot horse (W229a), while others were a little more complicated (fig 3). For example, PM18 is a very small amulet of a deity, who can be identified as Sopdu-hor thanks to the inscription on the back pillar. Measuring only 61mm in height, the scanner often had problems tracking the amulet on the turntable. Additionally, the inscription isn’t as clear on the models as I would like. However, the main purpose of the scanners is not necessarily to produce high-resolution textured images, but to make highly accurate models. The accompanying software actually allows users to incorporate photogrammetry into the models, which will produce high-resolution textured models. While we have yet to experiment with this, it is something that we will be doing over the coming weeks and months.

Fig. 3: Sketchfab image of the ba-bird


Five objects we did prioritise scanning this week are those that are currently being used by students in their Egyptian Archaeology module. Over five handling sessions at the Egypt Centre, the students in this module get to handle their objects, researching their life history. These objects are all pottery, including a black-topped redware jar (EC89), a tall cylindrical jar (AB91), and a small vessel closed by textile (W1287). This latter object appears to be a rattle, as the students quickly determined (fig. 4). The rattle was very easy to scan as it had a closed mouth. With the other four pots, scanning the interiors was difficult. In particular, with EC329 it was impossible to completely capture because of the closed form of the vessel. We also experimented with scanning a blue-painted pottery sherd (EC1369) from Amarna, which was excavated by the Egypt Exploration Society during the 1920s. This is one of many fragments from Amarna, which will be the focus of an undergraduate dissertation by Katie Morton. All of our 3D objects are now available on the Egypt Centre's Sketchfab page, where more will be added in due course. 

Fig. 4: Christian Knoblauch discussing the rattle with students


There is still a lot more to learn until we have mastered the various techniques and features. For example, one we were briefly shown at the end of the training was creating inverted object moulds, which can then be 3D printed. This will be particularly useful for school/workshop activities using casts of the Egypt Centre’s objects.

We are grateful to Alex for leading us through the training and for answering the many questions that we had. Thanks also to our colleagues in Archives and Academic Services for arranging the purchase of these scanners, which will really increase public and student engagement of the Egypt Centre collection!

Monday, 24 October 2022

Conservation of Djedhor’s Statue Base

This blog post has been written by Krystina Parker, a second-year MSc student in conservation practice at Cardiff University.

 

Conserving the base

During the summer of 2022, a team of seven Cardiff University MSc Students (including myself) had the privilege to finish working on the plaster cast of Djedhor statue base (W302), which had been previously worked on by the second-year BSc students during their 2021–2022 academic year. Micah Ellis wrote a blog post for the Egypt Centre detailing the work that their year had been doing on the object (fig. 1).


Fig. 1: Conservation team with the Djedhor statue base


Our team took up the mantle of completing the work on the object so that it could be returned home to the Egypt Centre and reunited with its statue, which is housed at the Petrie Museum in London. This will be the first time the statue has been reunited since the Wellcome Collection was dispersed in 1971. The object was first cast in 1933 from the original, which is housed in the Cairo Museum. This 89-year-old replica has transitioned from a replica for display to an antique in and of itself. When our team took over the work, there was little conservation left to be done to get the object ready for display. The previous students worked hard with the cleaning or the plaster and the fills, while our team filled some small holes with a plaster of Paris mix and finished the object off with the some inpainting. For this blog post, I will discuss the inpainting work that was done by our team and the importance of the conservation of plaster replicas.



After considering the best paints to use, we decided to go with gouache paints. These worked really well as not only could we layer this paint to get the right opacity, but we could also leave the colours mixed overnight and rehydrate them for future use. A previous group had attempted inpainting on one corner of the object which, unfortunately, had the wrong pigments and was too dark (figs 2–3).


Fig. 2: Back of the statue base before treatment

Fig. 3: Side of the statue base before treatment


While the base may seem black, it is actually far more polychrome than one may guess. We used tiles to combine paints; shades that include black, white, green, red, and yellow ocher to make the correct shades. Different areas required different variations in shades. In order to make sure the colours would not look too different on the object, we tested them on plaster of Paris squares. Once we got the colours to the correct shades we applied them to the base; each zone took a varying amount of time to mix, which meant that colours were applied at different times. In figure 4 you can see an example of the tiles that were used and the plaster of Paris squares (fig. 4).


Fig. 4: Front of the statue base before treatment


As a team, it took us a few hours to mix and fill the small areas that required paint. With the work done we were able to cover the base with a dustsheet and get it ready to be shipped back to the Egypt Centre for display (figs 5–9).


Fig. 5: Back of the statue after treatment

Fig. 6: Working of the treatment

Fig. 7: Side of the statue base after treatment

Fig. 8: Back of the statue base after treatment

Fig. 9: Side of the statue after treatment


Importance of conserving the base

The base is important for two reasons. Firstly, it will be reunited with its statue giving the public in Swansea a look at a famous statue, which they may otherwise not get the opportunity to see. Secondly, these statues represent an era that opened the art history of the world to various locations without removing the originals from their home countries. Plaster replicas allowed museums, world fairs, and collectors to access and display life-size exact copies of famous pieces. Replicas also allowed cultures to maintain and display their heritage artefacts without the fear of misrepresentation, something that has been a problem that museum specialists have been tackling for the last decade or so consulting with people of the cultures they are representing.

Having the statue at Swansea will allow the students and the public to come and view the object. This allows students who may not have the ability to travel to Egypt to view, study, and work with the statue. Furthermore, the benefit that comes with the statue being a plaster cast replica is that people are able to physically interact with the object without damaging the surface too much. (Though I would still recommend the use of gloves provided by the museum to reduce skin oils damaging the paints).

As a previous volunteer of the Egypt Centre, I know that Ken and the team will make great use of the statue base and its statue when they are reunited, to educate people on Djedhor and the amazing life that he lived!

 

Further reading:

Marie, M. (2020) ‘What you might not know about Djedhor’s black basalt statue in Egyptian Museum in Tahrir’, Retrieved October 18, 2022, from EgyptToday website: https://www.egypttoday.com/Article/4/89133/What-you-might-not-know-about-Djedhor%E2%80%99s-black-basalt-statue

Nichols, M. (2006) ‘Plaster cast sculpture: a history of touch’, Archaeological Review from Cambridge, 21(2), 114–130.

Reynolds-Kaye, J. (2022) ‘Museum replicas; recovering the work of making plaster casts of preColumbian art’. In The Oxford Handbook of Museum Archaeology. Oxford University Press.

Sherman, E. J. (1981) ‘Djedhor the Saviour Statue Base oi 10589’, The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, 67(1), 82–102.

Simon, J. (2011). Plaster figure makers: a short history - National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved from www.npg.org.uk website: https://www.npg.org.uk/research/programmes/plaster-figure-makers-history

Monday, 17 October 2022

Conservation of Objects

Since 1978, the Egypt Centre (formerly the Swansea Wellcome Collection) has been working closely with the Conservation Department at Cardiff University. Over the course of forty-four years, more than 250 objects have received treatment, with many now on display in the museum. As part of the arrangement between Swansea and Cardiff, objects are sent to the latter so that they can be examined and treated by students pursuing their degrees in conservation studies. This hands-on conservation programme is dedicated to teaching the next generation of conservators through problem-based learning on real heritage objects. Students are taught and supervised by international experts in conservation, who keep in regular contact with the Egypt Centre curatorial staff throughout the whole process. Several weeks ago, a batch of objects were returned to the Egypt Centre following treatment of Cardiff, with this blog post highlighting just a few of them. 

One of the most popular objects in the Egypt Centre for both volunteers and the public is W867, a fragment of papyrus containing chapters of the Book of the Dead (fig. 1). The object was purchased at Sotheby’s auction house in 1932 (lot 79), with the catalogue describing it as “a Papyrus Fragment, 22 in. by 10 in., in cursive hieroglyphs, containing the greater part of Chapter XV of the Book of the Dead, with vignettes of the funeral service, tomb sacrifice, etc., neatly executed in outline, framed in passe partout.” The catalogue also notes that it came from the “collection of a gentleman” and that it was part of “a collection formed about 1830 by the grandfather of the present owner”.

Fig. 1: Papyrus of Ankh-Hapi (W867) after conservation


At an unknown date—but probably after it arrived in Swansea in 1971—the papyrus was removed from its frame, Sellotape was used to hold the sections of papyrus together, and the object was inserted between two pieces of plexiglass. The Sellotape, which had turned yellow over the years, was becoming problematic and so the decision was made to send it to Cardiff for treatment. The object was worked on by Ellie Evans, Kate Dieringer, and Angela Leersnyder, who painstakingly removed the Sellotape using an infrared heat tool to release the adhesive, and a spatula and tweezers to detach each piece. Loose fragments of papyrus were then re-adhered back together using 12g Japanese tissue paper and 1.5% methyl cellulose in water w/v. Additional repairs to the areas of missing papyrus were undertaken with tinted Japanese tissue paper. Finally, the papyrus was inserted into the plexiglass case, which was sealed with Filmoplast for display and to ensure protection. The papyrus is now back on display in the House of Death gallery at the Egypt Centre, much to the delight of Egypt Centre staff and volunteers (fig. 2).

Fig. 2: The papyrus on display


The Egypt Centre received several large Coptic stelae as part of the Wellcome distribution in 1971. Most of these can be traced back to the collection of Robert de Rustafjaell, which was sold in 1907. EC521 is one of these stelae, which had been broken into five pieces at an unknown date (fig 3). The stela was restored by Emma Thomas, who firstly removed traces of a previous adhesive and dirt accretions. Because of the weight and size of the stela, holes were drilled into the larger fragments for the insertion of a carbon fibre dowel to hold them together. All the fragments were then reattached with Paraloid B-72 40% before the gaps were infilled. It’s really great to have this beautiful stela restored (fig. 4)!

Fig. 3: W521 before conservation


Fig. 4: EC521 after conservation


Also from the collection of Robert de Rustafjaell—this time from his 1906 sale—is a group of inscribed mummy bandages. These had all been stitched onto boards prior to the sale, which was causing damage to the bandages (fig. 5). Fifteen fragments were sent to Cardiff where they were analysed and treated by Kate Dieringer and Alice Law. Following analysis using a microscope and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), the textiles were removed from the boards. Next, humidification of the fibres was necessary in order to remove the creases. Finally, the textiles were adhered and reinforced with Lascaux 498 HV/303 HV on Japanese tissue paper. This has greatly improved the appearance of the textiles, including revealing sections of the text not previously visible (fig. 6). If any readers of this blog are able to read hieratic and would like to help in identifying the texts, please get in touch!

Fig. 5: EC178 before conservation

Fig. 6: EC178 after conservation


The final object to be featured in this blog is W562, which was purchased by Sir Henry Wellcome while in Cairo in July 1911. In the list of objects purchased at this time, which was compiled by William St Chad Boscawen, W562 is described as a “Prehistoric black bone or ivory knife engraved with hunting scene. Man spearing crocodiles & driving birds. Hippopotamus represented as Thoeris in Greek. Very fine & valuable object. 13" long.” Since the object was broken into several fragments, it was decided to send it to Cardiff for analysis and restoration (fig. 7).

Fig. 7: W562 before conservation


The analysis undertaken by Therese Corton determined that the object was bone rather than ivory, possibly a cattle radius-ulna bone, which was burnt in the region of 285–330°C. Firstly, the previous adhesive (animal glue) was removed with warm deionised water and a scalpel. Dirt was removed with industrial methylated spirits (IMS) (95% ethanol, 5% methanol) and deionised water via cotton swabs. The edges and cracks were consolidated with 5% Paraloid B-72 in 75:25 acetone: IMS. The fragments were then re-adhered with 15% Paraloid B-72 in acetone, tinted with dry pigment (dry umber). Finally, the surface cracks were filled and smoothed with Polyfilla (Acrylic VeoVa-PVAC copolymer with internal plasticiser and additives), which were painted with acrylic paint to match the material of the object (fig. 8). W562 is now back on display in the Fakes, Forgeries, and Replicas case in the House of Life gallery at the Egypt Centre.

Fig. 8: W562 after conservation


We are grateful to all the students who have worked on the objects from the Egypt Centre collection. This work could not be possible without the cooperation between the museum and Cardiff University, particularly with Phil Parkes who has supervised all the work featured in this post. Further conservation work will be featured in subsequent blog posts!

Monday, 10 October 2022

Animal Mummies Uncovered

Epping Forest District Museum is excited to have objects from the Egypt Centre on display in their new exhibition ‘Animal Mummies: Uncovered’. The exhibition is family friendly, with adventure trails, interactive displays, holograms, and the chance to learn more about the history of animal mummification through scientific techniques. To give you a taster, Ian Channell (Collections Officer), provides a summary of the museum and walks us through some of the key things visitors will see on their visit.


History of Museum

Epping Forest District Museum, managed by Epping Forest District Council, collects and preserves objects found within or linked to the Epping Forest District, one of the twelve local councils within the county of Essex. The Museum is currently based in two Tudor and Georgian buildings on Sun Street in Waltham Abbey (fig. 1). The Museum retains over 100,000 objects, covering archaeology, world culture, social history, fine and applied art, photography, oral history and costumes and textiles.


Figure 1: External view of Epping Forest District Museum on Sun Street in Waltham Abbey.

 

Exhibition Schedule

The Museum has an active exhibition schedule, showcasing three temporary exhibitions a year, each bringing a new and engaging story to the pre-existing displays and the council’s community programmes. To keep the exhibitions unique and dynamic, the museum regularly loans objects for fixed periods from external museums and institutions.

 

Introduction to current exhibition and why we have it

The Museum is fortunate this year to have an exciting exhibition entitled Animal Mummies: Uncovered on now until the 17th December 2022. The exhibition showcases newly remodelled exhibition components from a Natural History Museum Tring and Manchester Museum exhibition. The exhibition examines animal mummies given as gifts to the gods in ancient Egypt. Most mummies presented to the gods were known as votive offerings, like a prayer in the form of an object. To tell this story, we are extremely excited to have on display objects from Saffron Walden Museum (in the northwest of Essex) and the Egypt Centre in Swansea.  

 

Adventure Trails

In our exhibition, the museum visitor first encounters a hologram display which invites them to participate as one of three characters, each following a unique adventure trail around the exhibition and museum; an Explorer which is ‘easy’, Anubis which is ‘tricky’, and an Archaeologist which is ‘expert’ (fig. 2). Each thematic trail allows individuals, regardless of age or ability, to engage further with the topic and learn more about the fascinating history of animal mummies in ancient Egypt and the roles archaeologists and scientists play in helping researchers learn more.

Figure 2: The Anubis Adventure Trail. A talking hologram invites individuals to find amulets hidden around the museum.


Catacomb Entrance

Once a visitor has picked their character, individuals then enter the exhibition through a faux catacomb. With mudbrick and limestone walls, flickering storm lanterns, arched niches, and a small hole in a bricked-up door through which visitors can see a candlelit wall painting, the catacomb ‘sets the scene’ and creates an atmospheric start to the exhibition (fig. 3).


Figure 3: Catacomb entrance to the exhibition with an illuminated Anubis in the distance.


Room 1

In the first room, visitors explore the landscape and religion of ancient Egypt, with display cases dedicated to the stories of Horus and Bastet. Horus, one of the most important deities of ancient Egypt, was a god of many things, but most importantly kingship and the sky. He is associated with birds, most frequently the falcon and other birds of prey. Mummified birds of prey and statues of Horus are on display, including, from the Egypt Centre, a mummified bird in a wooden coffin (W535), which represents the god Horus as a crowned falcon (fig. 4). The coffin would have been covered with gesso and brightly painted.

Figure 4: The display case with Horus-related objects.

On the other side of the room, visitors can learn about the goddess Bastet, who was usually depicted as a cat or cat-headed woman and associated with fertility and pregnancy. To accompany this story, mummified cats and statues of Bastet are on display, including a beautifully painted cartonnage mask (W529) from the Egypt Centre, which would have been placed on the face of a mummified cat (fig. 5).

Figure 5: The display case with Bastet related objects.


Room 2

In the next room, the use of non-invasive scientific analysis to examine animal mummies is discussed. In hospitals, X-rays, and CT (computed tomography) scans are sometimes used to examine animal mummies in the same way as living patients. Scans show researchers if animal remains are inside the wrapping, their condition, and can indicate how the mummies were made. Mummies from the Egypt Centre, some of which have been analysed with Micro-3D Computed Tomography by Professor Richard Johnston and his team at Swansea University, are displayed (fig. 6).


Figure 6: Display case with mummies which have been analysed.


Interactives

Fun and engaging interactives on this side of the gallery invite visitors to smell, touch, and use magnification to investigate the materials the ancient Egyptians used to make mummies, as well as use CT scans to investigate the components of different animal mummies, such as a crocodile and cat (fig. 7).

Figure 7: Room 2 interactives.

Conclusion

We are very grateful to Dr Ken Griffin and the staff at the Egypt Centre for facilitating the loan; it’s a real joy to have them on display for our visitors! We are also grateful to the Wellcome Collection for allowing these objects to travel from Swansea to Essex for this exhibition. The objects bring to life the history of animal mummification and add to a story that has not been told at the museum before. The objects from the Egypt Centre can be viewed here. If you are visiting Essex, please do stop by the museum to uncover the story of animal mummies and see these amazing Egypt Centre objects in an entirely new setting for yourself!

 

To accompany the exhibition, we have organised two Zoom talks on animal mummies by Dr Ken Griffin and Prof. Paul Nicholson, which can be booked here:

https://eppingforestdc.bookinglive.com/book/add/p/596

https://eppingforestdc.bookinglive.com/book/add/p/597

 

And stay up to date with the museum’s exhibitions visit our website: Home - Epping Forest District Museum (eppingforestdc.gov.uk)) and social media channels:

Twitter - EFD Museum (@EFDMuseum) / Twitter

Facebook - Epping Forest District Museum | Facebook

Instagram - Epping Forest District Museum (@efdmuseum) • Instagram photos and videos

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

The Archaeologist and The Artist

The blog post for this week has been written by Isobel Jackson-Scibona, who is currently undertaking a three-month paid placement at the Egypt Centre funded by Swansea University’s Graduate Support Programme. During this placement, Isobel will be producing illustrations of objects in the collection, with a particular focus on the unpublished material from Armant.

My childhood was spent surrounded by art. With both parents either teaching art or making it themselves, I grew up eagerly entering every Eisteddfod competition with my creations and was even awarded the title of Art Honours Student in sixth form. Having decided early on that I would follow in my parents’ footsteps and do my teacher training after A-levels, this all changed when I discovered my passion for Ancient History. However, I still had a deep love for art, finding that my particular style lent itself best to detailed analytical studies of objects rather than emotive and expressive pieces. This was much to the frustration of my poor teacher Mrs Eddy, who spent countless hours trying to help me loosen up, giving me nothing but A2 pieces of paper, a chunk of charcoal and my floundering imagination. Despite her best efforts, and later amazing tutelage by the lecturers at Coleg y Cymoedd during my Foundation Diploma, I knew that teaching art in a school was just not in my cards (fig. 1).

 

Fig. 1: 2007 to 2022: An ongoing love of drawing and art but luckily a visible improvement!


Having been able to explore Latin in school and been lucky enough to study Classical Civilisation at A-level, I was introduced to the ancient world through Homer’s epics. I distinctly remember sitting in the Classics classroom at Howells School, being surrounded by the smell of old tomes, the gentle creaking of the building’s 1860s wooden panelling from the warmth of the old school radiators and a particularly heated discussion of how much we hated Jason in Euripides’ Medea. Despite there being only two of us taking the A-level, the infectious passion Miss Jenkins displayed and the way she could paint vivid images of rich history from Greece to Rome and beyond made me realise that I had become completely and utterly ensnared in the study of ancient worlds. It was all I wanted to do.

It was at Swansea University that my dream came to fruition, I pursued my degree in Egyptology and Classical Civilisation whilst eagerly absorbing any bits of information I could, even going as far as to attend extra classes that I had not enrolled in. Upon completing my BA Honours with a first-class degree, I decided that it was time for a new challenge, an MSc in Archaeological Science. This opportunity would allow me to study the areas of Osteoarchaeology and Zooarchaeology at Cardiff University, from some of the best in the field. As I’m pretty sure my old GCSE teachers would agree, I do not have a scientific bone in my body (pun intended). When plunging head first into the MSc, with a rather nagging sense of imposter syndrome and irrational fear of spilling a can of Pepsi on some very expensive lab equipment, I was comforted to see that one of my optional modules was Artefact Illustration. My heart leapt as I realised that no matter how much of an outsider I felt, being surrounded by so many incredible minds in white coats, this would be my chance to shine (fig. 2).

Fig. 2: I often like to share photographs of my work in progress, explaining the process of drawing artefacts by hand and the techniques I use.


Having gone on to achieve a distinction in the illustration module, I began sharing some of my work online hoping to find opportunities to practise my new skill. I was then contacted by Ken Griffin at the Egypt Centre who has very kindly hired me as an intern to illustrate some of the collection. Ken has also put his trust in me to render a number of flints from Egypt Exploration Society’s unpublished excavations at Armant during the 1930s, hopefully culminating with them being published alongside accurate illustrations that would further enrich their study (fig. 3). My deepest thanks go out to Ken for this experience and for listening to my excited ramblings on flint, pens and permatrace paper!

Fig. 3: Flint flake from the unpublished excavations at Armant


The question I most often get asked is, “with all the technology we have today, why do we still draw artefacts?”. The best answer I can give is that there are simple details that can be conveyed more easily through illustration than through photography. This is especially relevant to flints and metals that contain purposeful surface marks that can’t all be shown simultaneously in a single photograph, such as the directional strikes of the knapping process for stone tools (fig. 4).

 

Fig. 4: Whilst the photographs are very high quality and great for analysing W1370, the inclusion of accompanying illustrations allows for additional information to be conveyed (such as the direction of flaking/knapping).

When illustrating artefacts, the main principle is that you as an artist, are simply translating the object into another form. There is no room for an artistic license or attempts to make something appear more aesthetically pleasing, your job is to document the piece in a way that is accurate and interpretable by all. In order to do this, there are certain rules that must be adhered to in order to make sure that any scholar who sees the drawing is able to gain the information needed (such as material, scale and texture) and even use multiple artefact images to cross-reference details. To put it very simply:

1.         There is no global light—if you are right-handed you draw as if the light is coming from the top left (and vice versa). You use this rule and not the actual light source you are working with.

2.         Each material has its own marks—flint is directional line work, metal is stippling, pottery is a more organic mix of both etc. The marks you use act as a key to immediately identify an artefact and its material.

3.         A scale must always be included. Just as with object and excavation photography there should always be an appropriate scale included.

4.         Objects should be drawn with publication in mind—if you are drawing a 3cm long arrowhead at 1:1 scale, be aware of how the image may lose sharpness if blown up for an A2 poster presentation or display on a whiteboard. Equally, bigger drawings should avoid having areas of shading that are too heavy, as when the image is reduced for A4 printing in a book, the darker areas may condense down and bleed into nothing more than a blob of black ink.

5.         Whilst not necessarily a main principle, I prefer to draw the objects by hand with high-quality pens, only tidying up the linework digitally using Adobe packages. I find that physically drawing on paper gives you more control when recreating linework than using a digital tablet. However, this can differ between artists.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this short blog. I wanted it to serve as an introduction to not only myself, but some of the exciting work taking place at the Egypt Centre and the techniques behind it!

If you would like to know more about the illustration process or get in contact, feel free to email me at isobeljackson@hotmail.co.uk or on my Instagram blog @the_exhausted_historian.