Object Marks

One of the most important clues for identifying excavated objects in collections are numbers and/or letters written in pencil or ink upon the artefact itself. These can allow people to link things back to specific digs,  particular fieldwork seasons or even to an exact find spot. These codes might also allow connections to be made between objects, archives and publications that may provide further information. As archaeology developed between 1880 and 1980, so too did the marking of finds.

The pages here are intended to help other understand this development. It will also give examples of the types of marks that might be found on excavated objects and will be illustrated with photos and commentary. 

A guide to reading object marks can be found here.

Old Kingdom stone vessel

Old Kingdom stone vessel.The markings record its collection history from its excavation at Mostagedda (tomb 10012) to its acquisition by Henry Wellcome (R4031/1537) and finally being accessioned into the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL (UC25504).