Graphic and photographic documentation of the archaeological artefacts: from traditional drawings to digital sources (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Patrizia Basso
Patrizia Basso
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem 1A, Sem 1B

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course on Graphic and photographic documentation of the archaeological artefacts: from traditional drawings to digital sources aims to direct the students into the set of problems relevant to archaeological documentation in order to demonstrate the capability to do an inventory, a catalogue and a documentation of archaeological finds, to be improved additionally by practical exercises during laboratory practices.

1. To be familiar with interdisciplinary methods and approaches in Archaeology in order to read and understand the material culture data correctly.
2. To be aware of particular archaeological terminology of the field.

1. To understand the principal techniques and strategies in the management of the archaeological finds.
2. To register correctly different classes of materials.
3. To learn the variety of graphic and photographic approaches that are commonly used in the archaeological research (as traditional one using paper and pencil and the digital one, based on open source).


The course aims to illustrate methods and approaches commonly used during the graphic and photographic documentation of the archaeological finds. In particular, the course will be structured into series of workshops and practical exercises that will address a variety of themes, as:

1. To illustrate different methods of collecting, quantification and documentation of the archaeological finds.
2. What to do with the artefacts in the lab: notes on preliminary classification, parameters of classification and analytical study of the pottery finds recovered during archaeological investigations.
3. How to record and catalogue different types of archaeological materials.
4. How to register graphically the recovered finds:
- the use of traditional drawings with paper and pencil
- the use of digital sources in the archaeological documentation: get some vectoral programmes experience
5. How to register photographically the recovered finds:
- the use of camera: which are the basic elements for making a good photo?
- the use of programmes to change and improve images

It’s expected that students have already attended the course of Methodology of archaeological research. Furthermore, it is believed that one has good knowledge of computer resources applied to archaeology. We hereby heartily recommend the participation of the follow-up meetings and seminars, as so of the archaeological excavations organised by the other disciplines related to the field of Prehistory, Classics and Medieval archaeology.

The meetings are structured as theoretical-practical workshops with practical activities to be conducted directly on the archaeological finds, currently preserved in the depot’s Lab of Archaeology in the University of Verona. Every participant will challenge himself by using different instruments and sources in order to record, catalogue and register graphically archaeological finds.

Reference list of titles
Notes of the lectures and of the illustrations made available through the e-learning platform (PowerPoint presentations from the lessons). Furthermore, it’s expected the study of:

A. DE LAURENZI, Introduzione al disegno della ceramica romana, CNAP Manuali, Firenze-Pisa 2006.

C. MASCIONE, A. LUNA, Il disegno archeologico della ceramica, in AA.VV., Introduzione allo studio della ceramica in archeologia, Centro Editoriale Toscano sas, Firenze 2007, pp. 87-100.

M. PENNACCHIONI, Metodologie e tecniche del disegno archeologico - Manuale per il disegno
dei reperti archeologici, All'Insegna del Giglio, Firenze 2004.

Y. RIGOIR, L. RIVET, De la représentation graphique des sigillées, Edition et diffusion S.F.E.C.A.G., Marseille 1994.

Assessment methods and criteria

The aim of the exam consists in testing the expected results of learning objectives previously listed.
The exam will provide written examination that will include the realisation of a drawing by using a traditional support and by digital sources.