The dimensions of features can be recorded on detailed drawings as
- plans (length and breadth) and
- profiles (height and width).
These detailed drawings are fairly simple to create using the ‘low-tech’ method of baseline & offset with a team of 3 people (one at the baseline, one taking measurements and 1 drawing). Here, a 30 metre tape measure is stretched across the middle of the feature to create the baseline and another tape measure is used to measure the distance from the base to the edge of the feature.
The measurements are recorded as dots on squared / graph paper as a scale drawing ( for example, 1 cm on paper = 1 m on the ground). The dots are then joined to reveal the shape of the feature. It is best to ‘join the dots’ whilst you are in the field so that any errors or discrepancies in the distances measured can be seen and corrected on site.The sketch can then be translated into a standard plan using archaeological symbols later.
Where possible, photographs should be taken of the feature from different angles / perspectives and these related to the plans made. The geographic orientation (North / South etc.) should be marked on to the plan for future reference as should the reference number from your walk-over survey.