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Field Archaeologist Intern - Week 1


I began my internship as a field archaeologist at the Wessex Archaeology Sheffield Office on Tuesday. I was fairly nervous as I’d never worked in commercial archaeology in the UK and had heard that the work can be pretty fast paced. My first day was spent in the office with induction, looking at health and safety and then site recording forms, which all seemed fairly similar to what I’ve come across at university. I was given my work plan which showed that I’ll be working on a range of projects from field evaluations to community projects and also days in the office so  that I can brush up on my recording knowledge. In the afternoon Richard, my supervisor, met with myself and Emma so we could learn more about the processes involved in commercial archaeology; from tendering for a wide range of projects, to site setup, carrying out fieldwork, post-excavation reporting and archiving, to discharging planning conditions.
Wednesday was my first day on site and in the tradition of British archaeology it rained all day. The site was an evaluation in Derbyshire. I was encouraged by Chris, the supervisor, to record the stratigraphy as soon as I had read the written scheme of investigation (project plan). I got the chance to practise tidying sections and photographing them before the written recording started. Everyone on site was encouraging and I was really happy to find such enthusiasm for field archaeology, which I had only ever seen in academia.
The last two days of the week I was back in the office helping digitise some records from an urban site in Cheshire. Doing such varied work has really given me a window into the commercial archaeological environment. I’m looking forward to starting my second week, and getting stuck into planning for a local community and education project!
By Hannah Holbrook


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