Charlotte Walton: The Life of an Archaeological Illustrator

Being an archaeological illustrator can be a very varied job through creating trench plans and digitising excavations to preparing figures for publication and display materials as well as drawing small finds and pottery. Often having to flick between any one of these things in one day.

I have to use a range of software including AutoCAD, QGIS and Adobe Creative Suite on a daily basis, and relish the chance to sit at the drawing board to draw some lovely pottery by hand.

At the moment I am drawing three bells from Hinxton Genome Project, one is highly decorated with diagonal lines and crucifixes.

A desk showing grapics tools for illustrating archaeological artefacts

The tools of the trade

A close-up of a sketch of a crotal bell

A close-up of my bell drawing

Recently I have been getting to grips with geomatics and learning how to set out trenches and record features on site using the GPS. I got issued with my very first set of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and went to my first excavation (not bad for being in archaeology for nearly 10 years). The day consisted of finding my way through brambles, climbing over gates, and recording some very exciting Anglo-Saxon burials.

Charlotte Walton is an Illustrator Supervisor at Oxford Archaeology’s East office in Cambridge. For more information about Oxford Archaeology and our specialist graphics services, visit our website:

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