Photography, Graphics and Technical Editing

Unlike many other disciplines, Pre- and Protohistory relies strongly on visual illustrations which begin at documentation on field work (excavations, etc.) and end with the interpretation and illustration of the data from the field work in the form of maps, diagrams and tables.

The institutes graphic-photographical department has almost completely made the transition to digitalisation, however the documentation of finds and findings in the form of drawings is still widely practised. The production of drafts for publication follow the conventional method with a reliance on PC-based processes. Publications specifically aimed at the general public such as flyers, posters, information boards, exhibition catalogues and illustrated books are almost exclusively produced at our own institute. The work group responsible is made up of five graphic designers and two photographers who work with high-performance computers and peripheral devices on our illustrations.


Our photographers are active in many of the institutes work as photographic documentation is an important part of archaeology. They use their reflex cameras to take high-quality pictures of ceramics and small finds for print in posters, publications and catalogues. Because some finds can't physically be bought back to Germany (some international projects) these professional photographs are vital for further research.
Another aspect is the photographic documentation of findings and overviews required for field work, such as excavations. For these photographs (as for all of them) the scientific applicability and later use in print is always a factor.
After previous consultation with the respective professor a student can receive the professional photos of finds for their theses and also be given advice on how to deal photographically with large quantities of finds and what to be aware of.

All personnel of the graphic-photographical work group have access to the resources of the universities computer centre which among other things includes the supply of individual memory space on disc drives, the use of several high-quality printers and the DIN-A-0, slide or negative scanners.


The main task for the graphics department is the generation or editing of digital excavation plans and mappings (some made during field work) which requires the processing of both geodata in GIS and „analogue“ templates from atlases. Generating reconstructions and find drawings as well as the subsequent assembly of tables of finds and photos is also part of the departments duties. Students can seek advice for e.g. the design and arrangement of their own illustrations.

Technical Editing

Another large area of work is the print preparation of the institutes series of publications. PC-breaks, producing exposable data, binder designs and negotiating with lithographic workshops and publishers are necessary tasks (among the aforementioned ones) of the technical editing work group. It is recommended to authors of our series of publications to get in touch with our technical editing department before beginning work on their print templates to be advised of the technical requirements for print.