Session 7 – Archaeologists and Objects

This week we looked at how archaeologists deal with objects. Archaeologist, Sarah Coxon visited us and ran a practical session on object analysis. Sarah’s blog that charts her own research is here:

Part One

I began the session talking about how the idea of objects and artefacts as ways to tell us about the past fitted into the idea of Urban Archaeology.

There is much more on the end of this powerpoint that we did not cover. I’ve added it on to the end as a useful reference point for you, should you wish to find out more about reading objects.

The presentation:

Part Two

Sarah also gave a short presentation on objects and the different aspects of society that they can tell us about.

During the second part of the session, Sarah covered different types of objects, such as ceramics, stone, and biological matter. We discussed the effects of time on objects, and looked at some fascinating examples of various degrees of decomposition of artefacts.

After the presentation we had a tour of the ceramics laboratory and the petrology laboratory. We then looked at some examples of worked flint and also ceramics, and as a group went through the process of recording of a sherd of ceramic, using an example of a recording sheet that Sarah had brought along with her.