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Monday, September 14, 2009

A meticulous record was kept ...

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Dixon 1994: "It is our practice to draw all stones and details down to the size of an old florin (about 30mm across), which is the smallest mark that is reproducible when the 1:20 drawing is reduced to 1:50. ... At present these site drawings occupy rather more than two acres of drawing film. At the height of the season as many as twenty drawing frames are in simultaneous use, in the hands of volunteer diggers. We have found that acceptable drawings can be produced by almost all: instruction, monitoring and the final assembly of the individual squares has been the task of the directors of planning. Once completed, the original pencil drawings are traced in ink and photographed for safe storage and reduction to 1:50 which has proved to be a convenient scale for filing and examination of groups of cuttings during the post-excavation work: at its original scale the overall plan of the site measures more than 16 metres in length, and even in this reduced form would amount to 6 metres by 4 metres in size."

So here's an example of an ink tracing done by Eric van Dorland on 10 and 11 August 1990, of Cutting CII including features 10100 and 10114.

Corky Gregory says: "Just a quick note to add: I can confirm that there are acres of drawings as well as mountains of finds and libraries full of feature books, supervisor's notes, and odd notebooks. In 1983 I went to Nottingham University to help with some of the tons of stuff and was given the task of sorting through the supervisor's notebooks and feature books. By that time a record was being kept of feature numbers and what the feature was. In the early years no feature books existed and the supervisory staff kept journals which included all sorts of interesting data and comments. I believe Robin Hall even gave weather reports for the day's work (it's ****ing it down - having to bale out postholes. Wind is gale force, etc) Those aren't direct quotes but simply how I remember it.

I saw piles of inked drawings plus the originals (even saw one I had drawn in '76 on site). There were walls of boxes of finds boxed according to feature numbers or cuttings/layers. I have blocked out the thought of the soil samples ... Anyway, think of all the diggers that lent a hand in all that stuff ... drawing the stones the size of a florin (Phil needed to use a currency exchange system that Americans and others could understand), tracing drawings (remember the year we tried that on site??), saving, recording, washing, marking and sorting bits of pottery, bone, flint, etc., scrunging dirt to find seeds and snails, brushing dirt off stones for photography, JUST AMAZING."

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