Pencils and Pixels: Drawing and Digital Media in Archaeological Field Recording

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Within the context of a growing emphasis on digital recording, what is the place of analog drawing in archaeological fieldwork? In this article, we situate the increased application of digital drawing methods by providing several historical examples of archaeological field drawing in British archaeology to demonstrate the connection between understanding the archaeological record and illustration. Given this background of analog archaeological recording, we then explore the current state of archaeological field drawing and the affordances of digital illustration for recording and interpreting the archaeological record, review literature in architecture and design regarding the cognitive function of analog and digital drawing, and discuss the possible future implications of born-digital or paperless archaeology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-151
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Field Archaeology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2018

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© Trustees of Boston University 2018. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • Archaeology
  • digital archaeology
  • Illustration
  • field drawing
  • archaeological illustration
  • archaeology

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