Photographing and field archaeology

08 May 2017

SIG: Archaeology and Heritage

Interpreting the past and providing photographic evidence for future generations who wish to make their contribution is, I feel, an important aspect of field archaeology.

From the very start when you first field walk a site, then to discover remains, identifying those remains, recording, interpreting and photographing them can add to existing knowledge, provide evidence of new knowledge and leave future generations of what it was like in our time. It can also be frustrating, lead you up the wrong path and be a bit of a detective case in solving the many riddles archaeology throws up.

The photo above is a section of the former White Rock copperworks site that the Friends of White Rock are currently trying to interpret. This section operated from around 1850-55. This particular area was where ore came onto the site via a tramway. The wagon was unhitched from the tram, then it was pulled by horse to the area above where you can see a tape measure, and unloaded into the building on the left, where only the stone floor remains. The dark line running up the middle of the stone floor that the tape is over was the end wall of the building. My interest is the bricks bottom right of the photo, identifying and dating them.


About the Author:
David Woods is currently volunteering with the Friends of White Rock which is the former copperworks site in Swansea, and now a scheduled monument under Cadw, the Welsh historic and archaeological unit set up by the Welsh government, and I am their brick expert in 18-19 century firebricks used in the furnaces. My photographs of sections of the site are in the Welsh archive on the Coflein website at:
They are a record of not only what remains of the site, but also the ever creeping vegetation that may one day completely cover the remains unless the local council cut back the vegetation and restore the site. I am also a member of the Association for Industrial Archaeology.