At the moment we are working through preparation of drawings for the publication of Portus in both a book and online resource. The site is so big that the drawings are causing a particular headache. How can you show the detail of a building that is over 100m long on a piece of paper that will probably be only 297mm wide/long? We will hope to have digital versions that everyone can see in some form, but at the moment, to give an idea of the problem, half of one of the long elevations of Building 5 is 1.1m long and only 10cm high at a scale of 1:20! The figure below (work in progress) gives an idea of the problem. Solutions include providing an online vector version, perhaps via SVG, downloadable drawing files, and also offering tiled raster versions. We are looking into all the options, with simplicity being the key factor.
We also have the dilemma of what to show in the drawings – phasing to help the viewer understand the development of the site and the changes to the buildings over time, or materials which show the different methods of construction (and some of these methods do not change much overtime). We can pretty much rule out showing both in one conventional drawing except incidentally i.e. if we have a wall of opus reticulatum, the diamond shapes of the tufa bricks up against the more normal Roman shaped enclosing bricks will indicate clearly the type of construction for that wall, even when they are both the same colour. Again companion digital data should provide a solution, and also allow more easy re-use of the information for example as part of future conservation and excavation activities on site. Another interesting aspect we are exploring in this area is how best to connect paper publications to digital supporting materials – something the project team have been discussing with the Archaeology Data Service for a while. As ever, we welcome suggestions.