All technical and scientific illustration is at once symbol and communication, a pictorial language addressing the author's audience side by side with his written text. It transmits information according to an agreed code of conventions which translates actuality into forms and outlines in one or more colours, usually black on white, in a manner which will convey to the observer the features of the original which the illustrator wishes to present. As Winston Churchill wrote of painting, ‘the canvas receives a message despatched a few seconds before from the natural object. But it has also come through a post office en route. It has been transmitted in code . . . it reaches the canvas a cryptogram’. Archaeological draughtsmanship involves the construction of technical cryptograms, and as in all ciphers these must be made according to rules carefully observed by both transmitter and recipient.
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