Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Lights, Camera, Action! at Chedworth Roman Villa

I've just returned from a day spent at Chedworth Roman Villa, near Cheltenham, filming a news article about the inventory work there. As the site includes a small museum, where much of the collection was built up during the Victorian era, the archaeological items in the museum all had to be photographed. 

A group of us carried out the photography in November last year, and perhaps the one item I should add to my toolkit is a thermometer - I'm pretty sure that the temperature inside never got into double figures all day! There were a lot of objects there to be photographed, and the total number is well over 1000. 

Between us, we chose some artefacts for the film crews to look at. I felt it was important to choose something of a reasonable size to show to the cameras, so we had on hand some carved pieces of stone, and a couple of floor tiles with animal footprints in them. Also we had a box of Roman Snail shells (Helix pomatia if you're interested) which can still be found on site (and in fact as far afield as Cirencester). 

You can read one of the stories in the press here:

and you can see the BBC article here:

I think it all went off very well, and shows nicely how to make an interesting story out of the seemingly mundane backroom task of cataloguing. 

Just as I finished packing up the equipment, it absolutely tipped it down with rain - perhaps if I'd hung around, the moisture might have tempted some of the snails out of hiding!