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Yes I plagiarised the title for this blog; thanks Mr Graves; but having come up with several terrible puns for a title; trowels and tribulations, anyone?; I gave up. It’s not a goodbye to excavating, just an end of digging up Grosvenor Park. I will of course miss the old trench, it’s become something of a home to me, particularly context (1071) which I’ve made my very own, to the point of considering whether or not I should decorate and move in full time.
Almost four weeks ago all of this began and part way through the first week muscles and bones I’d completely forgotten about began to make themselves known to me, mainly by attempting to force themselves out of my body any old how. However, all of us have benefited through our experience; I myself am currently sporting an Olympian physique and I’ve just gotten off the phone to David Dickenson, who wanted some tanning advice. Some of that might not be true, but in terms of what we have all learned about the practicalities of field archaeology the lessons have been well and truly learnt.
I have volunteered on excavations, carried out post excavation work and furiously scribbled notes in lectures over the course of the last eighteen months, but realistically until all of these elements were combined I’d not really considered the diverse roles an archaeologist fulfils. We’re labourers, draughtsmen/women, cleaners, data recording personnel, investigators, public relations people and interpreters of the past. I’ve probably missed a few as well, but the point is a field archaeologist blends many disciplines to create a whole and I believe that all of us have come to appreciate just how complex a role full time archaeologists engaged in public works have.
Team C, of which I am a member, have been great to work with, so much thanks to Jonathan who sleeps in wheelbarrows atop the spoil heap, Yash, whose hair defies the laws of physics and Afnan/Amiko (whatever her name is this week) who I have good-naturedly bickered with incessantly over the course of the month, driving many people insane in the process.
In fact thanks to everyone, staff and students alike I shall miss all this enormously and will be charging down to Grosvenor Park next year to see what the then second years have done with the place and resent them ever so slightly.
I’ll resent them even more if their tans are even half as good as mine.