A telephoto attachment increases the photographer's power of rendering distant details on a large scale. The results are greatly superior to enlargements of a small plate. It is, however, useless in a wind, unless the camera is specially supported, and is otherwise rather tricky to use. The traveller is strongly advised to master its management at home. It should be adjusted by the maker to the camera for which it is intended.
In the selection of a camera much will depend upon the nature of the work to be undertaken, the conditions of travel, and the climate to which the camera will be exposed. For accurate work a stand camera is always to be preferred to one of the hand variety, and care should be taken to choose an instrument that is strongly made and of simple construction. The essentials of a good stand camera are that it shall be rigid, possess a rising and falling front, a swing back, and bellows which will be capable of extension to fully double the focal length of the lens to be used with it.
The rising and falling front gives a power of modifying the field of view in a vertical direction. The swing back preserves the verticality of architectural subjects. In some cases, when used with the pivots vertical, it is a help in focussing the subject. The possible extension of the distance between the lens stop and the ground glass to twice the focal length (which is as a rule the distance between the same points, when a distant object is in focus) enables a small subject to be reproduced in natural size.
For work abroad where extremes of temperature or excessive variations have to be contended with, a special tropical camera is supplied by most of the leading makers. Its well–seasoned hard wood and metal– bound joints render it suitable for hard wear, and reduce the risk of leakage through warping or shrinkage. The tripod stand should be of the so–called threefold variety, with sliding legs which can be adapted to broken ground. If a loose screw is used for attaching the camera to the stand, a spare screw should be kept in reserve. It is important that this stand should be strongly made, and light patterns subject to undue vibrations in the wind should be discarded. For photographing small objects in the studio, a small table is more convenient than a tripod support. If the camera will not sit flat on the table, a bed can easily be designed for it. Better work will be done if this is prepared in advance than if an improvised support is used. As regards the size of the outfit, quarter–plate (3 ¼ x 4 ¼ inches) will usually be found to be large enough for the traveller. For anything in the nature of studio work in a museum or in connexion with an excavation a half–plate camera (6 ½ x 4 ¾ inches) is more satisfactory. Where a hand camera is preferred it should be one capable of adjustment of focus, and here again, strength and simplicity should be looked for. It should be provided with effective tripod legs, for studied exposures. Plates or flat films are preferable to roll fills which are difficult to manipulate away from home. Flat films are less bulky and less breakable than glass, and can be sent by post. They are supplied by the makers in packs of 12 for daylight loading into a film–pack adapter, which must be provided to take the place of the ordinary dark slides for glass plates. The lens should be a modern anastigmatic by a good maker. A focal length of about six inches will be best for a quarter–plate camera. A bad lens makes success impossible even by accident.
Where there are efficient maps the only need is to mark in the position of any antiquities, by cross–bearings to clear points, with the compass, drawn in with a sharp pencil. Where the maps are too small, or deficient, a continuous register of time should be made, noting the minute of starting and of stopping; this over known distances will serve to give the value over the unknown. Note whether mounted or walking, and the compass bearing of the track; also the bearings of known points around, whenever stopping. Without any known bearings pacing and compass used carefully may go over the roughest ground without five per cent. error in the day.
It is better when on unknown ground to plot a map as you go, so that no misunderstanding of notes can arise after. If a squared block cannot be used, at least draw the bearings and distances roughly, writing in the amounts. This should be plotted up accurately in the evening. A photograph may be unintelligible later in its detail. It is best where known features, a temple, tombs, &c., are in a view, to sketch the outline when photographing, and write in the details, so as to give a key to the photograph. Inquire about antiquities whenever stopping. When camping, villagers usually come up to see who it is; then tell them the directions of the places around. They will ask how you know; show them the map, and they are puzzled; talk over all the names a few miles round, and then anything notable in the district may be remarked, and inquiries made. Several men together help each other to remember, and bring out more remarks. Sometimes an intelligent man will describe all the antiquities he knows in the district: this should be followed closely on the map, and difficulties resolved at once, so as to get a clear record noted.
Of course, enormous exaggerations are met with, and not one report in ten will prove to be anything. Tracking up the source of bought antiquities is one of the best methods, and the one by which Naukratis was found.
If travelling by camel, it is practicable to diverge widely on foot, if objects are looked for well ahead. A foot track diverging 4.5 degrees, and then converging likewise, will easily keep in touch with a baggage camel. Fix on the camping–place in the morning, and let every one know of it, so that if accidentally parted all can rejoin by night.
Fix position by bearings to mapped points; also note bearings of any prominent feature near by, which may serve for finding the position again. Sketch a plan, always north up in the book, note bearing of main wall, and then measure with bamboo rod all original dimensions, with some diagonals to fix angles; do not forget the thickness of the walls. It is best for a long length to stretch a tape, pegged down by the ring, and pulled tight by hand: read off all positions of doors, windows, cross–walls, &c., on one long length, and not as separate short lengths. If possible plot the measures on squared paper as you go, and then any errors or omissions will be checked at once. 'E. and O.E.' has no place in a plan.
Estimate height over bare land outside; eye height is a trifle over five feet. At the foot of the mound see where the horizon cuts the shoulder of it to find eye height; walk up to that point, and sight another five feet; so on, till you see over the top. If there is any section, by a stream side, or digging, or land–slip, look for strata, stone or brick walls and floor levels, and for any distinctive potsherds; observing levels as before. Look all over the top for potsherds, to find the latest period of the town. Look around the mound for any early potsherds. Sherds on the slopes are worth less; as they have probably slipped down. Red burnt brick in Egypt is all Roman or Arab; in Greece and Asia Minor, red brick and mortar is Roman, Byzantine, or later.
Walk to the middle of the site or mound, and see its extent. Then walk round the wall line, or circuit of it, pacing and compass noting, to sketch the shape and size of the site: especially look for any straight lines of wall showing. Sometimes a mud–brick wall may be entirely denuded away, yet the position is shown by the sharp edge of the strew of potsherds on the surface.
Look for any slag–heaps; these are the remains of lime burning, and show where stone buildings existed; sometimes foundations still remain. Look for any recent pits or trenches; these show where stone or burnt brick has been dug out in modern times, and may give the position and plan of a temple or church.
While travelling little can be done for preserving objects. Papyrus rolls should be wrapped at once in a damp handkerchief, to be carried, and then wrapped in paper, packed in a tin box, and filled round with cotton wool. Small papyri can be safely damped in a wet cloth, and flattened out between the leaves of a book; secure one edge straight in the hinge, and gradually press flat and secure by advancing leaves over it. Glass, if perfect, should be packed in tins with wool; old food or tobacco tins do well for tender things.
Each traveller will require to provide for his special interests; but for any archaeological work the following things are desirable. Note–books of squared paper. Drawing–blocks of blue–squared paper. Paper for wet squeezes, and for dry squeezes. Brush for wet squeezes (spoke brush). One or two so–metre tapes. A few bamboo gardening canes for markers in planning. Divide one in inches or centimetres for measuring buildings. A steel rod, 3 ft. x 1 inch for probing. Field– glass, or low–power telescope. Prismatic compass with card partly black, to see at night. Large and small celluloid protractors for plotting angles on plans. Plotting–scale, tenths of inches and millimetres. Maps of the district, the best available. Aneroid barometer, if collecting flints; small size; can be tested by observing in a tall lift, or by putting in a tumbler and pressing the hand air–tight over the mouth. The zero error, or absolute values, are not wanted for levelling, only delicacy in small variations. Magnifiers, a few pocket size; will also serve for presents. Indelible pencils, pens, and ink in strong corked pocket bottle. Reservoir pens dry up too much in some climates. China ink for permanent marking. Strips of adhesive paper, about a inch and a inches wide, to put round objects for labelling. Strong steel pliers, wire–cutting. A few pocket–knives will serve for presents. It is best to carry money in a little bag or screw of paper, loose in the jacket pocket, it in a risky district. It can then be dropped on any alarm and picked up afterwards.
It should not be assumed that inscriptions which are exposed to public view have all been copied; moreover, new stones are constantly being turned up, especially where building is going on and where there are old sites or cemeteries close at hand. Great numbers of inscribed stones are hidden away in private dwellings, where they are difficult of discovery and of access. Travellers should take advantage of opportunities that may offer of examining antiquities in private houses, and of visiting sites or monuments about which information may be received, particularly if they are a little off the beaten track. Reward will often come in the shape of valuable discoveries, of which many remain to be made.
Travellers are more likely to make new discoveries elsewhere than on the actual sites of ancient towns and villages. In many cases the site is found to be entirely bare of all remains except sometimes small fragments of pottery. In general, inscribed and other stones have been carried away to serve as building material for mosques, houses, fountains, bridges, &c., or as headstones for graves in cemeteries or for other utilitarian purposes. It is, therefore, in and near modern villages and towns that inscriptions are chiefly to be found, as well as smaller antiquities, such as clay tablets, pots or fragments of them, terra–cotta figures, coins, and so forth. The smaller articles may sometimes be found in the bazaars, but they are usually in the hands of individuals.