Pots of Enthusiasm

We had such a great response to Morgane’s April blog about her work finding uncatalogued graffiti in the archives of the Lugdunum Museum in Lyon.

Dominique Durieux, volunteer and illustrator for the graffiti project, has kindly agreed to be our guest-blogger this month and tell us more (text translated by Janie Masséglia).

The very moment I read the email from the Association GAROM (the Friends of the Gallo-Roman Museums in Lyon) with a call for volunteers to carry out research on graffiti on potsherds, I felt huge excitement. I wanted to know more about this European Project which seemed so unusual, so inaccessible and which promised so many great discoveries.

And so I put in an application, aware of the privilege I was being offered in being able to access the various reserve collection of the Archaeological Museum in Lyon and finding out more about how it all functioned logistically. For me it was a great opportunity and a pleasure to assist an able and committed young researcher, Morgane Andrieu, in an archaeological endeavour which hinged on meticulous study.

Left to right) Dominique, Marie, Camille and Valentine, Musée Lugdunum, Lyon (France)

My own perfectionist tendencies and my experience in working with mosaics and illustration were a huge help in this most minute of undertakings. Creating an inventory of graffiti on gallo-roman ceramics taught me how to locate them, identify them and transcribe them. I also learnt to recognise the various gallo-roman vessels and everyday items which, in turn, allowed me a better understanding of how people lived in the period.

A page-spread and close-up detail of Dominique’s archaeological drawings on tracing paper. Each of the these sherds was found in the museum’s archive.

Thanks to some exceptional finds, I had the chance to meet some fantastic people of all ages and from all kinds of professional backgrounds. The atmosphere was very cheerful and Morgane kept the team together with her good humour and enthusiasm. I’m very proud to have been able to help with archaeological research and, no question, I’d do it again!

Morgane with members of TeamGraffites, Musée Lugdunum, Lyon (France)