Archaeological field drawings

October 7, 2023–January 28, 2024
Free admission

To draw archaeological artefacts scientifically and realistically is an old documentation process that has been used in Sweden at least since the 1600s. As archaeology became an official scientific practice, the use of this method became more organised. The prominent work “Minnen från vår forntid” (“Remnants of our past”) by Swedish author and archaeologist Oscar Montelius, published in 1917, presents drawings of ancient artefacts in chronological and typological order. All of the illustrations are made by artist Olof Sörling, and this highly acclaimed book remains an inspiration to archaeologists to this day.

In the late 1800s, photography became a more accessible technique, and a more common way of documenting the findings made during excavations. Until the cameras were sufficiently advanced, however, drawing remained the prevalent method. From the 1990s and onward, digital photography and 3D scanning have gradually become predominant, facilitating quicker and cheaper documentation. Archaeological drawings are still used, but for select purposes and with carefully chosen objects.

This exhibition showcases a selection of archaeological drawings from the archives of Halland’s Art Museum and Cultural Heritage Halland, with a focus on excavations and findings from Laholm and its surroundings.

Participating illustrators: Anders Andersson, Anne Carlie, Staffan Hyll, Annika Jeppsson and Bo Lundevall.