Sunday, March 25, 2012

The art of Dr Space Junk #1: the Cosmic Sieve

Years ago, I was a young archaeologist-about-town in Sydney, working mainly in Indigenous heritage management, but sometime historical stuff too (eg First Government House). I also held various positions on the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists, such as NSW State Representative and Newsletter Editor. It was while doing the latter that I made a number of illustrations to accompany particular stories or to fill in empty space. These were all drawn by hand in pen and india ink; there were no scanners or illustrating programs in those days.

I found this one in a portfolio of other archaeological illustrations, section drawings, lithics, site plans, etc. When excavating, all the deposit must be put through sieves, usually nested, to separate all the artefactual or cultural material from the soil for bagging and later analysis. We did an awful lot of dry and wet sieving in those days. A day on the sieves could be truly tedious if you weren't finding much.

This is the idea behind this picture, done in 1992.  This was long before I had any inkling that I would end up as a space archaeologist, so I think it's a bit prophetic. (And thank god I spelt "sieve" right in it!).


  1. hey, Alice. Is it ok if I publish this on the Subversive Archaeologist?

  2. Hello Dr Subversive. Yes that's fine!